Creative BC News

Vancouver Music Ecosystem Study

May 11, 2021 | Funding Recipient



On July 9, 2018, the Music BC Industry Association announced results from the highly-anticipated Vancouver Music Ecosystem Study. For the past two years, a diverse group of members from the not-for-profit and commercial sectors of Vancouver’s music industry provided input into the Vancouver Music Ecosystem Study. The funding for the study was provided by the BC Music Fund and FACTOR.

Sound Diplomacy, a global agency that aims to create and deliver strategies to increase music ecosystems, examined Vancouver’s music ecosystem and its ability to develop musicians, relevant businesses and stakeholders. The agency consulted 120 stakeholders in-person and 862 respondents engaged via an online survey. The goals of the study aimed to address the current gaps in the music ecosystem by supporting musicians and industry professionals working and living in our city. It also looked at the opportunity to expand the sector by engaging audiences, promoting music tourism and education, and removing municipal barriers. The study includes specific catalytic recommendations that the City of Vancouver could adopt to help support, sustain and grow the local music industry.

Alex Grigg, Executive Director of Music BC, said: “Music BC is thrilled to share the key findings and recommendations from the Vancouver Music Ecosystem Study, a project that has received tremendous support and collaboration from the entire Vancouver music community. We look forward to working with the City to implement a music strategy to reach our common goals for creating a sustainable, resilient and thriving music scene in Vancouver. Special thanks to all of our industry colleagues and the entire Vancouver Music Steering and Advisory Committees for all of your tireless work.”

High-level statistics from the study showcase the value of the music industry and demonstrate the importance of ensuring the music industry continues to grow in the years to come:

  • Economic Impact: The economic impact of music in Vancouver, including employment and additional revenue, is over $690M. The induced Gross Value Added (GVA) of music is estimated to be over $1.5B. Added to the direct economic impact, music is worth over $2.2B to Vancouver.
  • Employment: The music ecosystem supports a total of 14,540 jobs, including 7,945 direct music jobs in Vancouver for musicians, venues, festivals, music publishers, music teachers, studios & sound engineers, managers and labels, and music press and marketing.
  • Income/Wages: Employment impact of Vancouver’s music industry is over $520M annually, with the average income within the music venue industry at $51,000 and the festival business at $65,000.
  • Additional Economic Revenue: Musicians, music festivals and music venues generate over $172M per year in additional revenue (i.e. restaurants, parking, accommodations, etc.).

The study illustrates and solidifies the value of the music industry in Vancouver as both a sector and an economic driver. However, as with most industries, the study revealed areas of opportunities as well as challenges. Based on the research, some of the challenges addressed by respondents included: lack of accessible advice around business logistics (e.g. licensing, permits, bylaws); lack of funding and support for music education and artist development; tourism; cost of living and accessibility to affordable rehearsal spaces; and limited late-night transportation options.

Read the Executive Summary and the Full Report