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October 17, 2014
City of Toronto announces its new music sector development officer and its Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance representatives
The City of Toronto is pleased to announce its new music sector development officer, Mike Tanner, and members of the Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council who will work together on behalf of Toronto on the Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance.

"The City is moving forward in developing lasting relationships with the music industry in Toronto and internationally," said Zaib Shaikh, the City's Film Commissioner and Director of Entertainment Industries. "Mike, an admired member of Canada's music industry, is joining a team that's ready and excited to help the City and its great music community grow closer together while our alliance representatives bring a wealth of industry experience in Toronto and in Austin that will greatly benefit the city now and in the future."

Tanner, who will begin his employment with the City on October 21, will help support and enhance the City's relationships with the music industry locally, nationally and internationally.

Tanner previously worked with North by Northeast (NXNE), helping the music festival grow to become one of North America’s premier annual music events. At NXNE, his background as a musician, writer, event organizer and communications consultant served him well. His roles included overseeing festival logistics and operations as well as managing relationships with all levels of government and other industry organizations.

Tanner is a member of several industry advisory boards and was also a touring and recording musician who released a number of independent albums. As an author, he wrote three internationally published books. During frequent trips to Texas, he developed strong relationships in Austin and was part of Toronto's industry delegation that visited Austin last year. He was appointed a member of the Toronto Music Industry Advisory Council last December.

Toronto's Austin-Toronto Music City Alliance representatives will include the to-be -appointed Chair of the Economic Development and Culture Committee and an additional member of that committee. Industry representatives will include: Jeff Cohen (Owner, Collective Concerts and Toronto music venues the Horseshoe Tavern and Lee's Palace); Graham Henderson (President, Music Canada); Jesse Kumagai (Vice President of Talent, Live Nation Canada); and Sari Delmar (CEO and Founder of Audio Blood). Shaikh and Tanner will be the group's City representatives.

The appointment of the representatives continues the development of the world's first music city alliance agreement, which was approved by City Council in July and was signed by the Mayors of Toronto and Austin in October 2013.

These representatives will continue the formal dialogue that will explore meaningful trade partnerships of mutual benefit to both cities, as outlined in the Music City Alliance Agreement. Austin announced its representatives earlier this year.

More information is available at

The music sector initiatives are part of the City of Toronto's overall economic plan Collaborating for Competitiveness – A Strategic Plan to Accelerate Economic Growth and Job Creation in Toronto. The plan sets targets to create a more attractive business and investment climate in Toronto and commits to harmonizing the policies/activities of the City of Toronto and its agencies. More information is available at

Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. Toronto is proud to be the Host City for the 2015 Pan American and Parapan American Games. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.

Media Contact
Shane Gerard
Strategic Communications



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