Oh, sweet Calgary. This city has certainly been kind to the music community in recent years. YYC has been a breeding ground for a plethora of talented musicians and bands ranging the great gamut of genres and never ceases to stop producing new and fresh material every year that comes and goes.
Enter Colleen Krueger and Music In Your City (IYC.) The founder and brainchild of the city’s newest online musician network has never been short of ideas. Having gotten her start within the scene doing artist management and putting on a wide array of shows and festivals, Krueger felt that now was the right time to launch this project and start giving back.
“I started thinking of ways to give back to the music community while we were able to get our foot in the door, I guess,” recalls Krueger.
“I started it as a local directory for local bands to have profiles and then everyone in Calgary would know where to find all the local artists.”
The site, which launched in February 2012 under Music YYC and is undergoing its IYC rebranding, was initially started as a way to cross promote local talent and expose the rest of the world to everything that this city has to offer musically. Since then, it has been a steady learning curve of web development, networking and exploring the scene for Krueger.
“It’s definitely a work in progress. To get it going, I just put the website up and put the word out there and started getting artist submissions but, as the website’s grown, so have my ideas. The whole idea has sort of pivoted and changed with the process of doing the website.”
Moving forward, Krueger and her small crew of devoted volunteers have a solid foundation for the website’s new look and vision, which will include a full site rebuild and putting together some more lofty goals: in addition to the listings and features the site already possesses, Music IYC is also aiming for consistent show listings and new features that would allow artists to control their own profiles. They are also aiming at partnering with BandPage, a similar large-scale, online, musician-networking site.
“The response has been positive, I would say. There has been some critiques, but we’re working on building the website from scratch, pretty much, in the next year or so. Hopefully, that will answer the questions and critiques people have.”
Music IYC accepts submissions of all genres, so fear not about your three-piece experimental jazz trio or depressive black metal band missing the nod for being too “out there.” This site is on a mission to unify all musicians in Calgary, regardless of genre.
“We’re all over it. We like every genre and we would definitely want more of every genre on the website, for sure. Just to showcase diversity in a small city like Calgary is pretty awesome.”
As it goes, however, running this kind of operation takes a lot of time and effort away from people that aren’t generating any kind of revenue for their contributions. At this point in time, Music IYC is completely devoid of income.
“There’s no business model for what we’re doing. It’s all been for free and volunteer work for everybody that’s been involved. I don’t necessarily see it going the non-profit route, but I’m also not sure how to monetize it, so those are all things we have to work on through the strategy.”
Krueger does put on a monthly showcase in the city for her listed bands and also does Common Room, a video blog that makes an appearance on the website and Facebook group, but her involvement with Music IYC is, at least for most part, geared towards furthering its growing strategy. In the meantime, do your part to further the growth of it by signing up your own group to the site and building towards a better community.
Catch Music IYC’s Fundraiser Event at The Palomino on February 28.
By Brandon McNeil
Photo: Sebastian Buzzalino