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Photo by Zachary Spence from Capital Arts Productions.

Music Maker Fair and Trade Show—02.10.18

By Byron Pascoe on February 7, 2018

Byron Pascoe is an Ottawa-based entertainment lawyer with Edwards PC, Creative Law. Byron works with musicians, video content producers, and authors, among other creative professionals and businesses. He’s a former television producer who grew up in Nepean, now lives in Stittsville, and works out of Westboro.


While being a musician is a business, running a music business is not limited to being a musician.

It’s important for the sustainability and growth of the city’s music industry to have a star system of performers. It’s also key to the music ecosystem to have a strong group of providers of goods and services for musicians who are based in this city, province, country… and beyond.

The purpose of the second annual Music Maker Fair and Trade Show is to help create more awareness of these organizations to the community at large, and to encourage networking and collaborations among the music business entrepreneurs of today and tomorrow.

According to the 2015 Connecting Ottawa Music report, in a combined ranking of number of musicians, businesses and venues, Ottawa finished last out of six comparable cities–Hamilton, Winnipeg, Edmonton, Calgary and Quebec City. We can do better. MEGAPHONO and events such as the Maker Fair are among the many puzzle pieces to help increase Ottawa’s ranking.

Displays at the last year’s Music Maker Fair and Trade Show. Photo by Zachary Spence from Capital Arts Productions.

The fair is being co-hosted by the Independent Music Business which produces a series of monthly music seminars and MEGAPHONO, an Ottawa-based music organization focused on creating opportunities for Ottawa-area artists and music companies. In particular, the event is taking place during MEGAPHONO’s fourth annual music showcase festival and conference, this year, taking place February 8-10, 2018. There are many opportunities to see artists and attend panels at The Metcalfe Hotel.

Vendors at the fair include Fairfield Circuity (pedals), Bandbiz (financial management tool), MAVNetwork (music videos, grant support), Low Noise Productions (music label), !earshot Digital Distribution (online platform to get music to campus and community radio stations), Tetra Speakers (speakers), and music studios Audio Valley, More Than A Song Studios and Tev Sound.

There will be a variety of music education and skills development organizations present including TARA (The Audio Recording Academy), Carleton University’s Music Programs, Algonquin College’s Music Industry Arts, the Capital DJ Academy, Pop of Colour, AOE Arts Council / Conseil des arts AOE, and Ottawa Arts Council.

Venue-related vendors include Chinatown’s Possible Words, Folkrum – Ottawa Community Music Venue in the east end, and Team Vibration Studios in Osgoode.

Photo by Zachary Spence from Capital Arts Productions.

Organizations that help musicians develop talent include Willow Sound Records, SGM Group Artists, Musician’s Breakthrough, Talent Rich Entertainment, Ottawa Regional Writers Group and Girls+ Rock Ottawa.

“Girls+ Rock Ottawa provides music-based programming to empower girls, women, femmes, non-binary, two-spirit, and gender non-conforming folks to join music environments. We create the conditions for a diverse and inclusive music scene and build a music community where everyone can feel safe and welcome. We’re looking forward to the Music Maker Fair because it’s a great way to connect with aspiring musicians as well as other organizations and businesses involved in our music scene,” says Tiffanie Tri from Girls+ Rock Ottawa.

“The Songwriters Association of Canada provides songwriters with an opportunity to learn, network with other writers and stay connected to the music industry through monthly sessions, newsletters and workshops. The Ottawa Regional Writers Group meets the last Tuesday of every month at Raven Street Studios where writers share songs and obtain valuable feedback from pro mentorship. We look forward to meeting more songwriters at the event,” says musician North Easton who runs the organization.

Does Ottawa have a music industry? Yes. It’s growing, it needs our support, but it’s also much broader than the Ottawa-based musicians on your playlist.


The Music Maker Fair and Trade Show takes place on Saturday February 10 from 12-4pm at Capital Rehearsal Studios (250 City Centre Ave #202). Admission is free. To access Capital Rehearsal Studios, if driving, park on the ground floor of City Centre (Art-Is-In Bakery parking lot) and walk up the ramp.