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Attendees at one of the Independent Music Business seminar series workshops. Photo by Byron Pascoe.

There’s an entertainment industry in Ottawa?

By Byron Pascoe on February 1, 2018

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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.


I get the same reaction when I tell people I’m an entertainment lawyer in Ottawa.

“There’s an entertainment industry in Ottawa?”

Yes. Yes, there is.

There is a variety of entertainment sectors and businesses in town, with many interesting stories to tell. Most of it’s under the radar, and I’m hoping to change that with this column about our city’s entertainment industry.

I have a few motivations for this column. I’d like to help make our community at large become aware of what entertainment companies in our city are doing, both to support them and to encourage others to consider becoming an entertainment industry entrepreneur, all while staying in Ottawa. Also, if more of the existing entertainment industry entrepreneurs knew what the others in our city were doing, ideally, more partnerships would develop, and more ideas would be created and executed.

We can support our local entertainment industry by buying what they’re selling, and investing time, money and interest. However, it’s hard to support an industry that we don’t know enough about.

There’s likely an animated series, or live action films, Facebook shareable content, or games on your phone, plus music you’ve heard on the radio (and not just on All in a Day), and art you’ve been inspired by that you had no idea was created by the person behind you in line at Bridgehead.

The reality of many local entertainment businesses, these days, is that they need to reach a global market in order to grow and be profitable. However, in many cases, they need local support to have a fighting chance at survival; while they focus on export development. We can support our local entertainment industry by buying what they’re selling, and investing time, money and interest. However, it’s hard to support an industry that we don’t know enough about.

Professionally, I contribute to the entertainment industry by volunteering as a board member of Ottawa’s artist-run media art centre, SAW Video; as a coordinator of the Independent Music Business seminar series; the legal columnist for the Ottawa Beat music publication; and as a board member of Artists’ Legal Services Ottawa; all while exclusively practicing entertainment law in my hometown of Ottawa.

While I work with very creative people and business all over Canada, most are based in Ottawa, and yes, there’s an entertainment industry here. Keep up with the column to find out more.


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