Local musicians showcased in new Live From City Hall series


The City of Toronto is kicking off 2016 on a musical note. Live From City Hall is a new series taking place inside the rotunda at City Hall that showcases local musicians and bands from across the GTA. The free, all-ages public event launched on Wednesday, January 7 from 5 to 7 pm, and at least 20 more sessions are planned for the rest of the year.

“We’re aiming to promote the idea that this is a place where you can hear great, local live music from across genres and across the city,” organizer and music sector development officer Mike Tanner says. “It’s an after-work time slot, right in the heart of downtown and it’s in the middle of one of Toronto’s most iconic buildings.”

On opening night, around 200 people were in attendance, including Mayor John Tory and city councillors to hear rock-roots artists the Young Novelists and R&B/soul collective the Muso Project. Each group played a nearly one-hour set and attendees could purchase wine or beer from a licensed bar.

“We set up a stage with full audio production and we have seating,” Tanner explains. “It’s a nice place to come and hang out.”

Tanner says Live From City Hall is another way for city officials to show their support of local, independent artists. Last year, Tanner helped launch Music 311, where recordings by T.O. musicians are played when callers requiring information about the city are placed on hold.

“We’re offering exposure and promotion for local independent music,” Tanner says. “A lot of the work we’re doing here at City Hall on helping Toronto become a more music-friendly city is behind-the-scenes incremental work that doesn’t bear immediate results. While we’re doing those things, it’s great for the city to be able to support local independent music in a more tangible, visible way.”

Toronto-based artists of all genres are encouraged to apply online. While the series isn’t limited to professional musicians, performers must play original music.

“One of the great things about Toronto’s music scene is its diversity, and its authentic diversity as well. We really are interested in getting genre and geographic diversity,” Tanner says. “It would be great to get artists from Scarborough, Etobicoke and North York to feel as if it’s their venue as well.”

The next Live From City Hall performance is February 11 with horn-heavy Turbo Street Funk and R&B/soul singer/songwriter Kristin Fung. Check out the Music 311 Playlist to hear more. 

michelled@nowtoronto.com | @michdas



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