If you’re a band or musician in Toronto looking for more exposure, you might be interested in auditioning for the Eaton Centre’s new Urban Mic series. Send your demo (video or audio) to Keith Geary, Marketing. Selected artists will get to perform live each week in the Eaton Centre’s new food court, the Urban Eatery, and a video of their performance will be posted on the Eaton Centre’s Youtube channel.
And (as if you haven’t guessed it by now) the YouTube video that gets the most views each week wins a prize pack from the Eaton Centre. Bonus: you’ll also win an opportunity to perform live during the mall’s holiday season. More info available on their website: www.tecurbanmic.com
The UrbanMic contest is a test pilot from September to October, part of a larger rebranding-cum-experiential-engagement strategy that the Eaton Centre’s marketing team is working on. I spoke with Meredith Vlitas, Senior Marketing Director at the Toronto Eaton Centre this morning. “Arts and culture are a sizeable component of engagement strategy,” Meredith said, “if anything, I hope we get more involved with the arts going forward.”
In fact, Meredith suggested that their involvement with arts and culture “isn’t necessarily something tied to [increasing] mall traffic,” but rather, “a component of helping to deliver the brand experience. Toronto Eaton Centre is part of the urban fabric of Toronto. It’s an icon for the city. Arts and culture are such a strong component of that urban story. The question is only of how to get involved, and when it makes sense to do so.”
I think it’s pretty amazing to see the notion of community arts expand beyond the traditional “grassroots”. It’s easy to be a cynic and dismiss the contest as “yet another marketing ploy,” but until we’ve seen it, there’s no telling. It all boils down to quality and authenticity. What kind of performance experience will the musicians get, and, between the presumably-unsigned artists and mall staff, what kind of music experience will the public get?
Why shouldn’t a shopping centre take on the role of being an arts presenter?