The City of London has been designated Canada's first UNESCO City of Music


The City of London, together with the Canadian Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), is proud to announce that London has been designated a UNESCO City of Music. London is Canada's first city to receive this designation.

"Congrats to the London Chamber of Commerce and the City of London on achieving this honour! London has a long and distinguished history as a music hub, where some of Canada’s most talented artists, engineers and producers got their start," says Rob Carver, associate dean of Fanshawe’s School of Contemporary Media. "Many studied at Fanshawe’s Music Industry Arts program, and we are proud to be a part of London’s culture of music."

Grammy-nominated Fanshawe College professor Dan Brodbeck, coordinator of the Music Industry Arts (MIA) program, was one of the consultants who contributed to the pitch put forward by London Chamber of Commerce CEO Graham Henderson to bid for the designation.

"This is huge for the city of London, the musicians, and the entire music business in London," Brodbeck says. "Fanshawe and Music Industry Arts has been a part of the fabric of not only London's music scene but Canada's so we are very excited what this will bring to London."

Students and faculty in the MIA and Audio Post-Production programs have contributed to London's music scene for years, including through events like Share the Land and Fanshawe Live or virtual showcases like Quaran-tunes, as well as through the success of award-winning alumni like Lost in Japan, Haviah Mighty, Dubmatix and many others.


"This designation reaffirms that London is an international hub for music and culture - home to incredibly talented artists, songwriters, producers, sound engineers, venue and festival operators and world-renowned music education programs," says London Mayor Ed Holder. "We are a community with deep roots in the creative field, and where music is a vital part of our economic and cultural identity. The UNESCO City of Music designation is a recognition of the ongoing commitment and dedication to the development of the music industry by all those involved in the music sector."

London is developing internationally recognized, award-winning talent (artists, producers, engineers) through post-secondary schools at Western University, Fanshawe College and Ontario Institute of Audio Recording Technology (OIART). London was the second municipality in Canada to approve a Music Strategy (2014) and hire the London Music Industry Development Officer (2015). The London Music Strategy outlines priorities to advance London's music sector and the community.

"Becoming a 'UNESCO City of Music' elevates London's brand nationally and internationally and provides London with greater outreach and learning from access to UNESCO's network of creative cities," states Cory Crossman, London's Music Industry Development Officer. "This designation is years in the making and was supported by our music community and the successful hosting of international acts and national events such as Canadian Country Music Association's (CCMA) Country Music Week, the CCMA Awards and the JUNOS."

The City of London now joins the 295 existing member cities and 59 other Cities of Music in UNESCO's Creative Cities Network (UCCN) across 90 countries. Members have made a commitment to being part of the network to share best practices, develop partnerships that promote creativity and the cultural industries, strengthen participation in cultural life and integrate culture in urban development plans. Member cities also commit to leading the charge towards implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at the local level.

"Given London's first-hand knowledge of the role of culture in the municipal development context, its position as a hub of music education, and the broad support from its community, we are pleased to welcome a new partner that is contributing to the vitality of the local economy and advancing sustainable urban development," says Roda Muse, Secretary General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO. "We salute the efforts of all who have worked so hard for London to achieve the prestigious designation of a UNESCO Creative City.''


Created in 2004, the UCCN is organized into seven fields: crafts and folk art, design, film, gastronomy, literature, media arts and music. London joins three other Canadian cities that are also part of the network: Montreal (design), Quebec (literature), and Toronto (media arts).

The City of London is a music education hub with three internationally recognized post-secondary music schools educating 1,000+ students with over 130 faculty and staff. London's live music scene accounts for 963 full-equivalent jobs supporting over 4,700 live music events with a robust and growing recording industry. London's cultural industries generate nearly $600 million annually.

London is excited to once again be opening its doors and hosting country music's biggest stars. From November 26-29, 2021, London will be transformed to the country music capital of Canada as the city welcomes the country music industry for the CCMA's 2021 Country Music Week. The weekend culminates with Canada's biggest country music stars gathering at Budweiser Gardens for the 2021 CCMA Awards presented by TD on Monday, November 29.

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The Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCUNESCO) serves as a bridge between Canadians and the vital work of UNESCO—the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Through its networks and partners, the Commission promotes UNESCO's values, priorities and programs in Canada and brings the voices of Canadian experts to the international stage. CCUNESCO operates under the authority of the Canada Council for the Arts.