The Honourable Michael Chan, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport speaks at Music Canada's Annual General Meeting
Music Canada was proud to host Minister Chan at our Annual General Meeting on June 13, 2012. Affectionately introduced by Graham Henderson as the "Music Minister", Minister Chan gave the following speech to the roughly 100 music industry delegates in the room. (Check against delivery)
"Thank you, Graham. On behalf of Premier Dalton McGuinty and the Government of Ontario, it is a pleasure and privilege to join you today for Music Canada’s Annual General Meeting. Here in Canada and in Ontario – we have an international reputation as an incubator of great talent. Home to world-renowned artists like: Anne Murray, Neil Young, Leonard Cohen, Rush, Celine Dion, and even Justin Bieber.
We have a long standing legacy of producing quality music that transcends borders and time. It is because of the work – the collaboration with our musicians, domestic and foreign producers, industry leaders and stakeholders, like those gathered here today, that Ontario and Canada enjoy this recognition. For all that you have contributed, I want to say thank you.
From major and independent labels, recording studio engineers, live music producers, music collectives and film among others.
You all build on the success of Ontario’s cultural and creative sector.
Looking around the room this afternoon, I see captains of industry, creative trailblazers, and champions of culture.
The McGuinty Government is proud to partner with our music industry and its many members – because we know that Ontario’s got talent!
Just last Friday I spoke at Luminato’s First Night Concert. Thousands of fans gathered to see Kae Sun and K’Naan – Ontario artists who are prominent in the international music scene. And this Saturday I look forward to North By North East at Yonge and Dundas Square to experience the excitement of the audience. Both are great examples of the high calibre of creativity that has become synonymous with Ontario. Because Ontario is home to some of the world’s best, from our recording engineers, to our music producers, to our sound artists. Our industry is a source of pride for all Ontarians and the envy of the nation. The music industry is a significant economic driver in our province. With Ontario’s sound recording and music publishing industry the largest in Canada – it accounts for 80 per cent of total operating revenues in this country.
What’s more, Ontario’s entertainment and creative sector contributes almost $20 billion dollars annually to our economy and generates over 300,000 jobs for Ontarians. Since 2003, the number of creative-industry jobs in our province has increased by 15 per cent – that means 39,000 new highly skilled jobs for Ontarians. This - ladies and gentleman – is music to my ears!
Our government is committed to supporting a thriving, competitive Entertainment and Creative Cluster – already one of the fastest growing sectors in the province. By listening to the needs of the industry, by making strategic investments, and, by offering valuable programs and tax credits through our agency the Ontario Media Development Corporation, we are driving development in new business strategies, content and innovation. And we know that you are actively finding diverse and dynamic ways to move forward. With industry-led initiatives like the Austin Report, you are ensuring Ontario’s place as a leader for today and for tomorrow.
We recognize that these initiatives are critical to the success of Ontario’s music companies in the international market place – and critical in keeping Ontario’s talent in Ontario. We are committed to working in harmony with you – our industry partners: to strengthen the music sector; to give our artists a strong voice; to foster a fertile environment for business growth; and, to showcase Ontario’s talent within our borders and beyond. But we can’t do it alone. We need partners – Partners like you. Henry Ford once said: “Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.”
Ladies and gentlemen. Let’s come together, Let’s stay together, And let’s succeed – together. Because, here in Ontario, we truly make beautiful music – together! Thank you and enjoy a productive afternoon."