07/19/2013 12:26 EDT

Music City Alliance Between Toronto, Ont. And Austin, Texas Cleared


Despite arguments over the city's transit problems and possible long term solutions, Toronto City Council can agree on one thing: having Austin, Texas as a musical twin city is a very good thing.

The Toronto Star reports council unanimously endorsed a link with the home of the massive annual South By Southwest Festival and Austin City Limits Festival. The move -- which Austin's city council voted on last month in favor of -- is seen to strengthen the tourism industry and create growth.

"This alliance is the first of its kind in the world," Music Canada's president Graham Henderson said in a statement, thanking the mayors and councillors from both cities in establishing the unprecedented initiative.

The news was met with widespread happiness among labels and musicians. "It is great news for Toronto and especially our music community that city hall is formalizing an alliance with Austin, the epicentre of music in the U.S.," Arts and Crafts co-found Jeffrey Remedios said in a statement. "We've all been going to Austin for years now and have witnessed the city's exponential growth, driven by music and fuelled by a supportive city government. I'm excited for what this could mean for Toronto."

The news comes after Music Canada launched "4479 Toronto: Music meets world" last month during a press conference at Lee's Palace. The campaign's first few goals include creating a Toronto office for music on par with what the film industry established in the city for more than two decades.

News of the possible association between Toronto and Austin caused organizers of Toronto's annual North By Northeast (NXNE) festival to jokingly tweet the following on June 28: "Would a music partnership between Austin and Toronto mean barbecue at every secret NXNE show?"

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