British Columbia

  • population: 4,610,000
  • capital city: Victoria
  • music revenue: $265 million yearly
  • musical facts: 58 indie labels, 123 studios, 6,425 artists
  • The Coquihalla Highway uses fences, gates, underpasses and an overpass to keep migrating deer, moose and other wildlife away from traffic.

BC is the third largest centre for music production in Canada, producing all genres of music including pop, rock, classical, blues, folk and jazz. Bryan Adams, Sarah McLachlan, Nickelback and Dianna Krall began their careers in BC and many still record here.

Music BC is dedicated to developing the spirit, growth and sustainability of our music community


  • Music BC Industry Association
    #100 – 938 Howe St.
    Vancouver, BC V6Z 1N9
  • P: 604.873.1914
    Executive Director: Bob Deith

Music BC is a non-profit society serving the British Columbia music industry through providing essential information, education, funding, advocacy, showcasing, and networking opportunities.

Music BC is the voice of the BC Music industry provincially and nationally, lobbying for funding support, tax credits and creators rights.

Music BC is a member of the Western Canadian Music Alliance, which produces the Western Canadian Music Awards and BreakOut West Festival.

Other key activities on behalf of our members:

  • Showcases at festivals such as Pemberton, Rifflandia, Whistler Film Fest, Mission Folk Festival and CMW
  • Broadcasting partner programs such as the PEAK Performance Project, K96.3 Emerging Artist Program, and Roundhouse Discovery Project.
  • International trade missions and showcases, including SXSW (USA), Reeperbahn (Germany), Big Sound Festival (Australia) and Folk Alliance International (USA).

Music BC logo

Explore the Province of British Columbia

British Columbia is Canada’s westernmost province. It is bounded by the Alaskan Panhandle and the Yukon and Northwest Territories to the north; Washington, Idaho and Montana to the south; Alberta to the east; and the Pacific Ocean to the west.

Vancouver Skyline

While natural resources (such as fish, minerals, hydroelectricity and timber) have always been the backbone of BC’s economy, newer industries such as eco-tourism, agri-tourism, film and high tech have become important economic drivers over the last decade.

The population of BC is concentrated around the cities of Vancouver and Victoria. Other major population centres include: Kelowna, Kamloops, and Nanaimo.

CONTACT Winter Music Festival

For more general information about the Province of British Columbia, please visit:

Key Regions in the Province of British Columbia

Vancouver population 2,135,201

Key venues/clubs: BC Place Stadium, GM Place Stadium, Bell Performing Arts Centre, Cobalt, Media Club, Railway Club, Yale Blues Club, Capones Restaurant and Live Jazz Club,

Key radio: CHNW-FM, CJSF, Ici Musique Vancouver, Red FM, JRfm, 94.5 Virgin Radio, The Ocean, CKPM-FM, Rock 101, The WAVE, The PEAK, CBC Radio 2 Vancouver, CKAV-FM Aboriginal Radio Network

Universities and Colleges: University of British Colombia, Simon Fraser University (Burnaby), Langara College, Vancouver Community College, Capilano University, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Art Institute of Vancouver

Victoria population 316,327

Key venues/clubs: The Royal Theatre, Alix Goolden Hall, University Centre Farquhar Auditorium, Sugar, Vertigo, Publik, The Duke Saloon

Key radio: 89.7 Juice FM, CBC Radio 1 Victoria, CBC Radio 2 Vancouver, The Zone, The Q, KISS 103.1, Kool-FM

Universities and Colleges: University of Victoria, St. Michaels’ University School, Camosun College, Royal Roads University

BC’s major festivals

Squamish Valley Music Festival, BC

Launched in 2010, Virgin Mobile Presents Squamish Valley Music Festival is Western Canada’s premier music event, with three days and three nights of top-notch music.

The Festival features some of the biggest international names in the music industry today, alongside national and emerging regional talent, in an incredible experience highlighting artistry of all genres.

Festival alumni: A Tribe Called Red, Eminem, Bruno Mars, Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Queens of the Stone Age, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, The Tragically Hip, Weezer.

Shambhala Music Festival River Ranch, BC

Shambhala is an annual electronic music festival held during the first week of August at the Salmo River Ranch, a 500-acre (2.0 km2) cattle ranch, in the West Kootenay mountains near Nelson, British Columbia.

It was born from a vision as grassroots as it gets. On a sunny Labour Day weekend back 1998, some 500 people gathered at the Salmo River Ranch for a party that showcased local art and music.

Since those early, heady days, Shambhala grew with enthusiasm by word of mouth, quickly becoming a staple event for the West Coast underground electronic music scene.

Today it attracts world renowned DJs and artists and some of the most eclectic, energetic fans in the universe. Shambhala is built on Shambhalove which shines bright to this day.

CONTACT Winter Music Festival Place Stadium, Vancouver

CONTACT Winter music festival of electronic music takes place annually at BC Place, and is presented by Blueprint, in partnership with Live Nation Canada.

CONTACT is the first-ever two-day festival to occur at BC Place, and is the largest, indoor festival in Western Canada, attracting music lovers from the Pacific Northwest & beyond.

With over 28,000 dance music lovers of all ages and a line-up that features a diverse collection of DJ’s and producers for fans CONTACT is “the largest and most exciting dance event Vancouver and Western Canada has ever seen.”

Festival Alumni: Armin van Buuren, Zedd, Skrillex, Kaskade, Deadmau5, Nero, Alesso.

Pemberton Music Festival Pemberton, BC

Pemberton Music Festival offers both camping and traditional lodging in a stunning natural setting, for a festival experience unlike any other.

Grab your friends and leave the world behind for an incomparable four-day celebration of music, art, food, dancing — and life itself.

Sitting on the idyllic grounds near the base of Mt. Currie, the 2014 festival welcomed nearly 100 acts. Join us this year as the adventure continues!

Festival alumni: The Black Keys, Tiesto, Broken Social Scene, Billy Talent, Nine Inch Nails, Outkast, Deadmau5, Soundgarden, Metric, Snoop Dogg, The Flaming Lips, Sloan, Trailer Park Boys.

Rockin’ River Music Fest, BC

Founded in August 2009, the Rockin’ River Music Fest rivals any outdoor music festival in all of Canada with 4 days of country music in scenic Merritt, BC.

The show grounds have well established facilities and ample parking, making for a relaxing and enjoyable weekend.

Campers are at the heart of any big festival. We have lots of camping for everyone, with premium sites right along the Coldwater River and general admission sites in one of five campgrounds.

Festival alumni: Big & Rich, Blue Rodeo, Dwight Yoakam, Johnny Reid, Lonestar, Ronnie Milsap, Smith & Jones, Travis Tritt.

Vancouver International Jazz Festival, BC

With 1800 artists, 300 concerts and 35 venues, the TD Vancouver International Jazz Festival is Vancouver’s signature festival and British Columbia’s biggest music and arts presentation.

Four close to 2 weeks, the world’s best jazz, funk, Latin, fusion, & world music artists perform at venues big and small, indoor and outdoor across the city.

There are many free events including Downtown Jazz at the historic grounds of the Vancouver Art Gallery & Robson Square during the opening weekend, Canada Day on Granville Island & David Lam Park on closing weekend.

Festival alumni: Trombone Shorty, Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Terje Rypdal, George Benson, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Macy Gray, Dr. John, Maceo Parker, Charles Lloyd Quartet, Cassandra Wilson, Arturo Sandoval, Bobby McFerrin.

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