Over the past few months, a string of Toronto live music venues have closed their doors, sometimes amidst unclear circumstances. The decades-old Silver Dollar Room was the most recent, but Soybomb, the Hoxton, Hugh's Room and many other spaces have shut down, as well. The closures have called into question Toronto's reputation as a music city. In an email delivered to Noisey, Toronto mayor John Tory and city councillor Josh Colle have responded to the closing of the city's live music venues through a PDF statement.
The PDF states that the city acknowledges and shares in the "disappointment" of the music community and that they are committed to protecting and supporting live music venues. The statement also provides an address, firstname.lastname@example.org, to "email your ideas and suggestions to... so that they can be presented to the TMAC membership for their consideration." Find an excerpt of the statement below.
A joint message about the closing of live music venues from Mayor John Tory and Councillor Josh Colle, Chair of the Toronto Music Advisory Council:
Toronto's music community lost a number of live venues in 2016, and sadly, that trend has continued during the first month of this year. We and many of our Council colleagues and the Toronto Music Advisory Council are very aware of these closures.
We share the disappointment of musicians, music fans, and the music community at these recent announcements. Most of all, we would like the music community to know that we take the matter extremely seriously and are actively taking steps to address it.
The Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council (TMAC) will discuss the issue of music venue closures at its next meeting on February 13, and will provide expert suggestions and recommendations to City Council about how the City can best support music venues now and in the future.
City of Toronto elected officials and staff have been constantly looking at strategies and actions that might be taken to help our music venues and the musicians and wider communities they support.
Some of the measures taken already include:
• Council has passed a motion aimed at protecting live music venues
• The City with the help of local Councillor Joe Cressy has taken steps to protect the Silver Dollar Room so it continues to be a music venue
• Council has asked staff to focus on helping the city's nighttime economy
• Part of the TOCore planning study will look at how to create, maintain music spaces, including pop-up music spaces
• Ongoing discussions with venue owners about how the City can help them succeed
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