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Trade Groups Call For Canadian Live Sector Investment

TORONTO (CelebrityAccess) — A pair of Canadian music trade associations are calling for deeper financial investment from the government into music festivals.

Both the Major International Events Network (RÉMI) and Festivals and Major Events (FAME) have taken up the call for support, noting that while provincial governments have provided support, similar measures from the Canadian federal government have been lacking.

The two organizations painted federal financial investment as a key component in attracting international fans, particularly Americans, to Canada's music festivals.

In an open letter, Martin Roy, Executive Director, Festivals and Major Events wrote:

"Each year, there are more than a billion international tourists who travel the world in search of a change of scenery and new experiences. The World Tourism Organization predicts that this will increase to 1.8 billion in 2030, which represents an average annual growth of 3.3 %. In 2016, Canada welcomed nearly 20 million foreign visitors, the highest level in the past 14 years, and this could make it climb a few rungs among the top 20 international destinations when it did not do better than ranking 18th in 2015.

"This increase is certainly the result of favourable circumstances and also the intervention of the government of Canada, which has stopped requiring visas from certain countries and reinvested in Destination Canada so that the organization can work on convincing more Americans to visit. From our point of view, this effort focusing on marketing and access must be combined with an effort to develop the tourism offering, the “product” that we offer to tourists.

"On the occasion of the launch of the festival and events season, Festivals and Major Events (FAME) would like to ask the federal government to take a step further in promoting the arrival of international tourists and generating benefits by creating a program for the growth of these major events, such as the Ottawa Bluesfest, the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Just For Laugh Festival, Vancouver International Jazz Festival and the Festival d’été de Québec, which are held in most of the provinces. To this end, they suggest perpetuating a part of the 150th anniversary budget allocation."

In the missive, Roy went on to laud provinces such as Quebec and Ontario, which he noted have increased their investment in the live sector to more than $ 20 million.

"To enable Canadian festivals and events to be more attractive and competitive on the international scene and offer a higher quality “product” and enhanced experience to their client base, FAME asks the government to intervene conscientiously in the context where the Canadian Council of Tourism Ministers is already evaluating the possibility of collaborating with this significant, but fragile industry," Roy added. – Staff Writers