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.
Other Canadian cities in the UCCN include:
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.
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).
skilled workers employed in the live music sector (pre-COVID-19)
is cultures contribution to London's gross domestic product (GDP) (2019)
live events take place annually in London (2018)
economic impacts from 5 music events in London (2019)
London has deep roots in the creative field of music and continues working towards improving and growing the sector.
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 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.
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.
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:
Objectives of the Plan
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.
This planning will be led by the City of London Music Office with core team support from:
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).