A vibrant music scene has been known to bring a city a variety of benefits. Music contributes to the local economy, it builds a stronger social fabric, attracts outside investment, talent, and tourists, and creates job opportunities. As such, in 2016, the Guelph Chamber of Commerce initiated a gathering of music stakeholders to promote Guelph as a music city.
In this regard, researchers at the University of Guelph conducted a study in order to establish a development strategy. First, some practices of other cities on promoting music were reviewed. Furthermore, interviews were conducted with music stakeholders. A SWOT analysis was also undertaken, which showed that Guelph has the potential to be a music city.
Guelph has immense potential, which is showcased by these strengths: 1) it is recognized by the other cities as having a vibrant music scene; 2) the continued success of Hillside Festival and Jazz festival; 3) academic support for music education and; 4) a safe and secure environment. Nevertheless, research findings also indicated that there are challenges. For example, a lack of suitable venues and an underutilization of facilities, are two of the eight challenges identified. In order to better cope with the current and potential challenges, opportunities recognized by the music stakeholders include: adding different components to venues; seizing the unique features of Guelph; and seeking government funding.