Music NB, a non-profit organization providing support for New Brunswick artists and businesses in the music industry, has released an economic impact assessment report that highlights changes in the province’s financial landscape thanks to a booming artistic sector.
Jean Surette, executive director of Music NB, says the report, titled ‘Sound Impact’ is important because it shows how much of an effect the music scene has on New Brunswick’s economy.
“It permits us to see how important investments [are] in terms of the government but also the sector at large,” said Surette. “Everyone contributes – even solo artists or bands that are just starting out.”
The report was prepared by Nordicity, an international communications company specializing in strategy, policy and economic analysis. Besides more obvious contributors like profits from shows or instrument sales, things like equipment rental, artist management and employment on a vast spectrum of musical outlets are mentioned in the report.
“We see all these players as businesses and sometimes artists don’t see themselves as businesses,” Surette says. “It’s interesting to see who’s doing what – are there more labels? More studios? Less studios? The landscape [has] changed.”
Brooke Burns is a New Brunswick native and sings in a two-piece band, Hum & Hollow. The up-and-coming folk duo has been working to get their name in the public sphere for just over a year now, with both members working separate, full-time jobs. They’ve recently celebrated their first album release, something Burns says was hard work but an important piece of New Brunswick’s cultural mosaic.
“You’re not going to become huge over night, but you’re always trying to find ways to be creative and keep yourself stimulated,” said Burns. “People need to be stimulated, why not there be a market for it?”
Burns knows her profits aren’t through the roof right now, but she’s been going to see music for a long time and is happy to give back to the vibrant scene that instigated her passion for music.
“Everything comes from being creative – it brings people out to local venues or what have you. I always wanted to get out there and now that I’m here it’s very humbling to have the support I’ve been giving for so many years,” said Burns.
The report boasts $41.2 million in labour income tied to the music industry, not to mention a $65.2 million injection into the province’s GDP. New Brunswick is a hotbed for home-grown music and artists – something Surette says isn’t about to slow down.
The numbers outlined in the report haven’t always been in the public stream of knowledge, but compared to an earlier report put out in 2004, this new economic impact report speaks volumes for the province’s bursting artistic scene.
“This study will help us as an organization to better see the needs of our industry,” said Surette, who also plays in a local New Brunswick band, Les Paiens. “The music industry can be an economic engine to development.”