Press Release

Mark Sutcliffe to Accelerate Ottawa’s Progress to Become a Music City

Mayoral candidate commits to declaring Ottawa an official Music City and lead efforts to reduce barriers for growing the city’s music community, infrastructure, and industry

Ottawa, Ontario - Mayoral Candidate Mark Sutcliffe promised to make Ottawa a Music City.

“Live music plays such an important role in our lives and the life of a city. It’s a source of comfort and joy and brings people together. It’s also an important economic and cultural driver to improve the quality of life in our community,” Sutcliffe noted.

“A strong music community leads to artistic growth, job creation, tourism development, and builds our city’s brand. Working together, we can support artists who create and perform music, the venues that host concerts, and the businesses and neighbourhoods that residents and tourists visit when attending concerts. It’s a win-win-win proposition and it’s a strategy that many other progressive cities around the world have embraced and are benefiting from.”

The live music sector was one of the hardest hit sectors by the pandemic. Venues have struggled to survive and artists and musicians have had to find alternative sources of income given that performing is one of the primary ways they make a living.

Ottawa has a long and rich history of hosting some of the best music festivals in Canada - Bluesfest, CityFolk Festival, and the Ottawa Jazz Festival. With a strong municipal strategy in place, the future can be so much brighter.

“This city is poised to become one of the most exciting concert destinations in the world. We already have strong local live music assets, artists and companies. Just like our incredible film and TV industry, music has the potential to put Ottawa on the international map at a time when our brand needs it most. Growing the live music sector is one way we can and will do that.”

Mark’s plan includes:

  • Reviewing and updating city bylaws to ensure that they enhance and support the music community and accelerate the myriad of economic impacts and benefits concerts and festivals return to our neighbourhoods without limiting the ability of artists to perform in public (like buskers).

  • Creating a Music Office as a single point of contact for the music community to champion the city’s music strategy development.

  • Completing the City of Ottawa’s nightlife economy strategy and implementing its recommendations.

  • Deploying city assets (parks, city hall and community centres) to more effectively to host events.

  • Bringing together Ottawa Tourism, the city’s economic development team, live music operators, festivals, and artists to develop a strategy to promote Ottawa as a live music destination and make it easier for residents and visitors to find shows.

“Residents are tired of searching for their favourite artist’s tour schedules, only to see Ottawa not make the list - and I’d like to see that change. To build a world-class city, we need a community that is safe, reliable, and affordable. But we also need to build a city that excites people and offers diverse cultural experiences. Making Ottawa a Music City is one way we can achieve that vision.”

Additional Information

Mark’s favourite band/artists are: Bruce Springsteen and the Eagles

The last concert Mark attended was: Bluesfest 2022 on July 13 to see Sum 41 and Alexisonfire



Media Inquiries

Mark Sutcliffe Campaign
Liam Roche
+1 613-981-5426