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“We literally do not have a stage to stand on if it’s not for the trades,” says Jason McCoy of The Road Hammers.

Skilled trades are an important part of the music industry. Concerts and festivals need skills tradespeople to be able to put on shows and performances.

The Ontario College of Trades has recently released a video that features many any Canadian musicians to encourage the youth to pursue careers in the skilled trades. The video features behind the scenes footage of the most recent Boots and Hearts and WayHome music festivals. The video showcases the people and trades who make these events possible.

According to Eric Benjamin, Executive Director of Music Canada Live. “Live music is a significant contributor to Ontario’s economy, and the skilled trades are essential to the success of the sector, without the tradespeople, the major festivals and concerts wouldn’t be possible.”

The College’s campaign, Tune In, Trade Up, sends the message that you do not need to know how to write music, sing, play an instrument, or produce to be able to have a successful career in the music industry.

There are countless positions available to those interested in a music career - heavy carpenters, truck technicians, electricians, heavy equipment operates, hairstylists, and cooks are just a few of the many positions involved in a music festival/concert.

The music industry generates $455 million per year in economic activity, according to a 2012 study by PwC, commissioned by Music Canada. Much of this revenue is generated in Canada, making it a significant contributor to Canada’s economy. Without these positions, these major performances and festivals would not be possible.

Shawn Jackson, an electrician who worked on this past summer’s Boots and Hearts music festival, says, “Once you get out of your apprenticeship you have a ticket to go anywhere in the world and work in many different aspect of the trade.”

These kinds of jobs are in demand and can be very well paying. Producing a music festival is similar to building and running a small city, this requires a lot of hands on deck to make sure everything is functioning well and running smoothly. At this year’s Boots and Hearts festival, there were over 250 trades workers employed for the event.

The campaign also features a webpage which provides information about a career as a tradesperson in the music industry and how young people can get started in that career path.

The message behind the campaign is to bring awareness to youth about the number of jobs available to them should they pursue a career in the skilled trades – whether it’s music or other industries.
Skilled Trades
Ontario College of Trades