SYDNEY: Next year’s Music Tourism Convention will be touring Cape Breton.

The Music Tourism Convention is heading to Canada for the first time in 2022. Organizer, Music Cities Events, said the global event will consist of two full days of conference sessions, and an optional three-day pre-convention tour from Oct. 5-7 for anyone interested in experiencing music tourism on Cape Breton first-hand.

As part of the conference schedule, Music Cities Events said participants can also head to unique Celtic Colours International Festival for its opening night on Oct. 7.

Destination Cape Breton CEO Terry Smith told The Reporter the convention will be in Membertou, but the pre-conference tour will travel around the island.

“The itinerary is still being finalized, but it will include communities and venues that keep our musical culture alive,” Smith said. “We hope to have it finalized in the next few weeks, but the plan is to visit as much of the island as possible, including places like the Celtic Music Interpretive Centre, Red Shoe Pub, Raveston Music School, square dance venues, etc.”

According to Music Cities Events, tourism bodies, music industry representatives, brands, and more from around the world will gather in Cape Breton next year for the fifth global edition of the Music Tourism Convention.

Music Cities Events said the event will be an international conversation on the use of music as a tool for tourism; including destination branding, developing local and international partnerships, attracting investment, driving economic development, increasing footfall, creating the best conditions for music tourism to thrive, and more.

Organizers are expecting 300-plus attendees and more than 30 speakers ranging from global tourism boards, music festivals and events, music content creators, tour organizers, tourism experts, and the music and tourism industries, Music Cities Events said.

“We are thrilled to welcome representatives from music destinations and organizations around the globe to Cape Breton Island, which we call the #MusicIsland,” Smith said. “In Cape Breton, music is meant to be a participatory experience and we look forward to inviting delegates to engage with our rich musical cultures and explore the musical communities around the island.”

With music as a driver for 45 per cent of travellers visiting Cape Breton, Music Cities Events said the island is a perfect host.

“We are beyond excited to take Music Tourism Convention to Canada for the first time,” noted Luke Jones, CEO, Music Cities Events. “Cape Breton Island not only offers stunning landscapes and beautiful scenery, but also unique music heritage and a thriving music scene, which makes the destination the perfect location to host the 5th edition of the biggest global event on the topic of music tourism.”

Music Cities Events said tickets are already on sale and include two evening events, two conference days, food and drink at the conference, a delegate bag, access to the digital platform and to the attendee database ahead of the event. Plus, they said there is the option to join a special, delegate-only music tour of Cape Breton before the convention. The Music Tourism Convention has been held in Liverpool in the UK, Franklin (Tennessee) in the USA and Cologne in Germany, bringing together 725-plus international delegates from the tourism and music industries in more than 125 cities and over 25 countries, providing the attendees the chance to expand on the opportunities the worldwide music and tourism sectors can gain from each other, according to Music Cities Events.

The Music Tourism Convention is hosted by Destination Cape Breton, Music Cities Events, and Sound Diplomacy, in partnership with the Celtic Colours International Festival and the Cape Breton Music Industry Cooperative.