Nova scotia department of communities, culture and heritage

Nova Scotia Music Ecosystem Study

About Sound Diplomacy:

Sound Diplomacy is the global expert in developing long term and self sufficient music strategies. We have worked in over 40 countries and with over 100 clients, spanning public, private and third sectors, such as the Greater London Authority, Walton Family Foundation, Arup, the Cities of Vancouver, San Francisco, Cardiff, and the United Nations.

We are proud to be working with the Nova Scotia Department of Communities, Culture and Heritage to deliver a Music Ecosystem Impact Assessment for the Province of Nova Scotia.

The music sector in Nova Scotia is extensive and it makes significant contributions to the social and economic fabric of the province. Music builds communities up and connects them. If Nova Scotia’s music community is thriving, it will contribute to the province’s vibrancy in a variety of ways, by creating jobs, developing skills and fostering a wider pool of lucrative intellectual property. However, supporting the music sector requires a comprehensive understanding of its value in the province and the ecosystem that creates such value.

The Nova Scotia Music Ecosystem Study will provide a comprehensive mapping of the province’s music-related assets, including, among others, local performance, recording, and rehearsal spaces, industry professionals, and educational institutions. Drawing from stakeholder feedback and global best practices, this effort will result in a strategic plan to engage Nova Scotia music makers, industry stakeholders, and audiences to support the industry’s future growth.

What we are here to do:

  1. GAP ANALYSIS: Map Nova Scotia’s current music ecology, highlighting the existing gaps

  2. POLICY ASSESSMENT: Assess the province’s existing music and economic policies for deficiencies and opportunities

  3. ECONOMIC IMPACT: Provide an economic assessment of the Nova Scotia music industry potential when fully realized

  4. ACTION PLAN: Develop a detailed report that will serve as a blueprint for managing, assessing, evaluating and strategizing Nova

    Scotia’s music ecosystem.

How We Will Do It:

Sound Diplomacy will develop this assessment and action plan through a comprehensive process, including mapping, regulatory assessments, stakeholder engagement and extensive comparative analysis, to determine the economic impact & design a roadmap to strengthen and grow Nova Scotia’s music ecosystem.  We will involve the breadth and depth of the music industry economy and ecology across all genres, sectors and vocations.

This website will be updated regularly, with reports on what has been done, what is planned, key dates, and an opportunity for you to comment on the process. If you’d like be kept abreast on the work, please contact us below to get updates straight to your inbox.  We will alert you when new pieces of research or participatory surveys are published online.


What we’ve done already:


Between May 6-10 Katerina Ivanova (Project Manager) visited the province and met with over 80 local stakeholders, who were interviewed either in individual or roundtable format alongside Gianna Lalonde, our Halifax-based local consultant.

Later in May Sound Diplomacy launched a comprehensive survey that was informed by our initial research visit to Nova Scotia. The online survey was targeted towards music makes, industry stakeholders and audiences across the Atlantic province.

800 musicians, industry and music fans of Nova Scotia participated in the survey. We are currently analysing the results.

The team is currently preparing an extensive review of governance and leadership in the Nova Scotia’s music industry and policy ecosystem.

Key next steps:

Q3 2019

Sound Diplomacy will compile an interim report consisting of a regulatory framework review, economic impact analysis, asset mapping of all music related uses across the Nova Scotia, as well as findings and insights from the ecosystem survey.

This interim report will serve as basis for the Music Ecosystem strategic plan.

All further steps will be updated once confirmed, including future visits, launches or other matters. Throughout this process, we will be collecting data, delivering our comparative analysis & completing the regulatory assessment.


Overall timeline:


Step 1


Q1 2019


Step 2

Stakeholder Engagement and Needs Assessment (including survey)

Q2 2019


Step 3

Knowledge Mapping

Q2 2019


Step 4

Economic Impact and Ecosystem Analysis

Q3 2019


Step 5

Development of the Music Ecosystem Strategy

Q3 2019

Meet the Team:

Project Lead: Katja Hermes, Global Head of Projects

Katja Hermes is the Global Head of Projects at Sound Diplomacy. She founded the Sound Diplomacy Berlin office in October 2013. In this role Katja has consulted several cities on their Music City strategies, has given lectures about Music Cities at events all over the world and initiated the Music Cities Network together with the Hamburg Music Business Association (IHM). She worked on the development of several funding projects for German institutions and has consulted with Adam Mickiewicz Institute Poland, Nordic Embassies Berlin and many other institutions. Katja has been working in the music business for more than 10 years. She has worked in various fields in the industry including at Mutek Festival, Ableton and Initiative Musik, the German funding organisation, where she was responsible for export projects. Katja holds a diploma in Geography and Economics, with a focus on urban planning and creative industries. She was recently voted into the board of the Berlin Music Commission and founded the new music workspace ‘Dugnad’, in Berlin-Kreuzberg together with Music Norway, where she works together with 10 other international music companies.

Project Manager: Katerina Ivanova, Research & Project Manager

Kat is a project manager and researcher with six years of experience in market research and cultural industries project management. Kat holds a BA Degree in Sociology and a MA Degree in New Media Studies. At Sound Diplomacy since 2016, Kat has delivered music and music tourism strategies for cities, regions and countries. Most recently she has worked on the Music Ecosystem strategies for the City of Brisbane (AUS), City of Huntsville, and the region of The Shoals, AL, as well as the ongoing New Orleans Music Economy Initiative. Kat has represented Sound Diplomacy at large forums, such as the inaugural Cities Summit at SXSW 2018, Face the Music Conference during Melbourne Music Week, and Reeperbahn Festival. Prior to joining Sound Diplomacy, Kat was managing creator research at SoundCloud in Berlin. She’s passionate about music, night-time culture, and urban planning.

Local consultant: Gianna Lalonde

Gianna was raised in Edmonton and Ottawa but calls Halifax home where she balances making music and working in the arts. Gianna presently works on the teams behind OBEY Convention, the Halifax Independent Filmmakers Festival, and Side Door Access. In Ottawa she worked in artist relations at Kelp Management (Andy Shauf, Lido Pimienta, Michael Rault) and has co-produced MEGAPHONO Music Festival and Conference, the National Community Radio Conference, and Arboretum Music Festival. Gianna has a B.A. in Ethics with a minor in Journalism from Carleton University and has been the Station Coordinator at CKDU 88.1FM in Halifax. Her music project is called Gianna Lauren.

Please contact us if you require any further information.

More information about Sound Diplomacy

Where We Have Worked and What We Have Done Elsewhere:

For more information, please look at our case studies in Vancouver, Northwest Arkansas, London and elsewhere:  

For example, our work in Vancouver led to the a $400K investment in music. Read here.

“Music BC Industry Association has been a long-time client of Sound Diplomacy as our sole source for market development and music strategies.  As a result of the fantastic work that they conducted on behalf of Music BC with the Vancouver Ecology Study in conjunction with a Music City Forum, we have made huge strides with public policy, locally, domestically and internationally.  Their work has set a benchmark for our organization to take music strategies throughout the province of BC.” - Alex Grigg, CEO Music British Columbia

"Our decision to work closely with Sound Diplomacy on the Vancouver Music Ecosystem paid off in colours. By utilizing their depth in experience engaging in Music Cities events around the globe, their unique insight was clear and apparent in the final report. As a result we were able to influence change in our metro quickly and with confidence that the recommendations were supported by their wealth of knowledge and passion for the sector" - Rob Calder, CEO, Secret Study (partners on Vancouver Music Strategy)   

We also run Music Cities Convention, the world’s largest forum on music and public policy.