musician playing guitar

Welcome to London, Canada's first UNESCO City of Music


The UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN) strives to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development.

  • First created in 2004, The UCCN promotes cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development. The current 295 cities across seven creative fields work together towards a common objective: placing creativity and cultural industries at the heart of their development plans at the local level and cooperating actively at the international level. The UCCN consists of seven creative fields including: Crafts and Folk Art, Design, Film, Gastronomy, Literature, Media Arts and Music.
  • logo of UNESCO

    London (Canada) was recognized on November 8, 2021, as Canada's first UNESCO City of Music.

Currently, there are 59 Cities of Music:

world map made up of dots
Abu Dhabi
Kansas City
Port Louis
Port of Spain
Santo Domingo
Santiago de Cuba

Other Canadian cities in the UCCN include:

  • Montréal (2006) Creative City of Design
  • Toronto (2017) Creative City of Media Arts
  • Québec City (2017) Creative City of Literature
  • About

    London, Canada

    Known as an inclusive community with small-town charm and big-city appeal, London is located in Southwestern Ontario almost halfway between Toronto and Detroit, USA. London boasts a number of hidden gems to explore. With award-winning neighbourhoods and unique cultural offerings, London is host to world-renowned festivals and events year-round.

    Visit Tourism London

We acknowledge that the land on which we gather is the traditional territory of the Attawandaron, Anishinaabeg, Haudenosaunee and Lunaapeewak peoples who have longstanding relationships to the land, water and region of Southwestern Ontario. The local First Nation communities of this area include Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, Oneida Nation of the Thames and Munsee-Delaware Nation. Additionally, there is a growing urban Indigenous population who make the city of London home. We value the significant historical and contemporary contributions of local and regional First Nations of Turtle Island (North America).

  • person sitting at desk controlling song board with band on stage playing guitars

    skilled workers employed in the live music sector (pre-COVID-19)

  • orchestra standing up in front of audience applauding

    is cultures contribution to London's gross domestic product (GDP) (2019)

  • person on a stage talking into a microphone

    live events take place annually in London (2018)

  • band playing on a stage in front of a audience

    economic impacts from 5 music events in London (2019)

  • Shad performing on stage
    Photo: Shad in Downtown London
  • WhyLondon

    Deep Roots

    London has deep roots in the creative field of music and continues working towards improving and growing the sector.

  • Craig Mann sitting in chair in front of students
    Photo: Music engineer Craig Mann at Fanshawe College
  • Why London

    Hub for Music Education, Production and Engineering

    London's distinct advantage is being a music education and production hub with three internationally recognized post-secondary schools. London continues to develop world-renowned, award-winning talent including artists, songwriters, producers and engineers through Western University, Fanshawe College and Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART). London is also recognized for developing talent that goes on to win Oscars, JUNOS, Polaris Prizes and Emmys. Distinguished scholars, composers, administrators, teachers and performers education London's 1,024 post-secondary music students.

    Music education isn't just found at the post-secondary level. Local organizations aim to reduce participation barriers and promote inclusive music education and an inclusive community. Local organizations offer accessible programming to youth through formal music lessons, mentorship opportunities, use of recording facilities, audio engineering programs, music instrument lending libraries, performance opportunities and unique bursary programs to help students achieve academic success. London's music community also recognizes excellence through a dedicated local music hall of fame and regional awards show.

  • London Juno awards audience next to stage
    Photo: The 2019 JUNOS © CARAS / Ryan Bolton, 2022
  • Why London

    Leading Music Event City

    London has proven itself on the Canadian stage, hosting large nationally significant events such as the Canadian Country Music Awards in 2016 and 2021 as well as the JUNOS in 2019. London is gaining international attention as a leading Music City with hundreds of thousands attending festivals, large events, concert and community performances annually. Local partners have also elevated London's name on the international stage through unique programming offerings, collaborative partnerships and artist exchange programs using London as a landing pad for the international music community.

  • Texas King singer playing guitar
    Photo: Texas King by Whitney South
  • Why London

    Established Music Strategy

    Having an established London Music Strategy provided the foundation needed to pursue the UNESCO City of Music designation. The Strategy was developed through multiple years of consultation with local stakeholders including the 25-member Music Task Force. The London Arts Council, Culture Services and Economic Partnerships supported the Music Task Force in their development of London's Music Strategy and advocated to City Council for its adoption to benefit London's music sector.

    Being designated as a UNESCO City of Music pays tribute to the pioneers that helped shape the music community we know today. Joining the UCCN is a renewed commitment to strengthening the London community through collaboration recognizing the important role music and creativity play in defining a city's economic and cultural identity.

What Does This Designation Mean for London?

  • Ongoing Commitment

    A UNESCO City of Music designation is an ongoing commitment to continue developing and strengthening our music sector. This designation provides London with a unique, one-of-a-kind distinction that no other community in Canada has, and connects us to the world.

    As an official UNESCO City of Music, London will be able to connect and collaborate with the international music community of 59 cities elevating our local music community.

  • Specifically, London's UNESCO City of Music Designation will:

    • Develop a more inclusive, creative and sustainable city that advances UNESCO's 2030 sustainable development goals;
    • Build strategic partnerships through joint projects;
    • Increase regional attractiveness to investors;
    • Strengthen policies, strategies and activities while diversifying regional economy;
    • Attract skilled creative professionals and students;
    • Create a unique city brand to drive tourism and;
    • Extend London's reach to international networks and marketplaces.
artist singing on stage
Photo: TD Sunfest Canada

London's UNESCO City of MusicDesignation Plan

  • Vision

    Develop London into a more robust, culturally diverse and enriched music community.

    Objectives of the Plan

    • Create greater inclusivity for BIPOC businesses and community in the boom of arts and culture
    • Nurture homegrown talent
    • Attract and develop international talent
    • Assist and support more Cities of Music and strengthen the UCCN
  • person sitting in front of soundboard

Focus Areas of London's Plan

The cities within the Music network, including London, commit to developing both local and international opportunities for their music community.


  • A female in an audio recording studio booth in London, Ontario with headphones on reading a script

    Music Incubation Nurture music talent and aid in transitioning students into meaningful music careers

  • A boy from London, Ontario sitting and playing at a piano with three females listening and clapping

    Inclusive Community Create inclusive participation and representation in the local music community

  • A musical duo performing on stage in London, Ontario being filmed by a by a female videographer

    Music & Film Work collaboratively within the film sector to strengthen the relationship between music and film


  • A female singing on stage in a club setting with a male guitarist in the background

    Music City Exchange Work with national and international UCCN cities to host artists and industry exchange opportunities

  • A male speaking to an audience on stage at a conference in London, Ontario

    Music Conferences Attract and host regional, national and international music meetings and conferences

  • A musical band performing live on a stage in London, Ontario with a sound engineer in foreground

    Media Arts Strengthen the UCCN and London's media arts sector through collaborative work with Cities of Media Arts (Toronto)


This community is comprised of world class choirs, festivals and orchestras as well as a number of top-ranked training programs offered through various music organizations and institutes. The City of London, together with its partners, will continue supporting the broader music community while leading the planning and implementation of the UNESCO City of Music Designation Plan connected with the London Music Strategy and London's Cultural Prosperity Plan.

logo London Music Office

This planning will be led by the City of London Music Office with core team support from:

  • logo City of London
  • logo Tourism London
  • logo London Arts Council
  • logo London Economic Development Corporation
  • logo London Chamber of Commerce

The specific initiatives in this UNESCO application have been endorsed by music sector stakeholders including: The London Business of Music Committee, post-secondary schools of music, local community organizations and the London Middlesex Local Immigration Partnership (LMLIP).