Kingston announced as finalist for Music City of the Year

“Hip Day” in Kingston, on August 20, 2016, the day the Tragically Hip played their final show together at the Leon’s Centre, with overflow viewing in Springer Market Square. The Hip also performed the inaugural concert at the Leon’s Centre (then K-Rock Centre) when it opened in 2008. Kingstonist file photo.

Update (Wednesday, Jun. 14, 2023):
Kingston was not named the Music City of the Year at the 2023 Canadian Live Music Industry Associations Awards.

The awards ceremony, which took place on the night of Friday, Jun. 9, 2023, instead saw Mississauga take that award, with credit going to the municipality’s ‘Mississauga Music Strategy.’

A full list of the 2023 award recipients can be read on the Canadian Live Music Industry Association website.


Original article (Friday, Jun. 9, 2023):
Kingston is a finalist for the Canadian Live Music Industry Association’s Music City of the Year Award. Voted among the top five cities in the country, the nomination and placement as a finalist underscores Kingston’s strong musical roots and the efforts of many organizations, community partners, and individuals to nurture the city’s vibrant music scene.

The Music City of the Year Award recognizes a group making a demonstrated commitment to leveraging the power of live music locally, to rebuild, recover, and grow thanks to live music, according to a release from Tourism Kingston. Finalists and the awards are based on a vote by live music industry workers.

According to Tourism Kingston, the finalists have not been posted publicly. They will be shared at the awards ceremony when the winner is announced.

“Seeing our city recognized among the best in the country for music is very gratifying,” said Megan Knott, Executive Director of Tourism Kingston. “So many amazing artists come from Kingston, found their footing while here for school, or chose to call Kingston home. This is a community that celebrates live music. I’m proud of the work our organization has done to support and showcase that.”

Kingston has long been a hub of musical excellence. The strong and active local music scene promises live music nearly every night of the week in one venue or another. Bigger acts grace the stage at venues such as Kingston Grand Theatre, the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Leon’s Centre. In downtown Kingston, bars and pubs host acts of all sizes, and participate in music festivals such as HomeGrown Live and Spring Reverb, and the Downtown Kingston BIA holds many live music initiatives like Bluesfest, and the long-running Music in the Park series.

Tourism Kingston has also provided long-standing support for the local music industry. In the release, they shared some of their recent initiatives:

  • Establishing a dedicated music portfolio and Music Commissioner at Tourism Kingston
  • Partnering with the Kingston Canadian Film Festival on the Slaight Music Video Program, which pairs local musicians and local production companies, providing funding and professional development support
  • Supporting The Broom Factory, an emerging all-ages, eco-friendly venue in the city’s Inner Harbour neighbourhood
  • Launching Bandwidth, a program that provides free professional development and networking for local musicians
  • Membership on the City of Kingston’s Creative Industries Working Group

The winners of the Live Music Industry Association Awards will be revealed at their Award Show tonight, Friday, Jun. 9, 2023, in Toronto.

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