The July festival attracted 31,000 people last year, with nearly 6,000 people coming from out of town. Overall attendance rose 13 per cent from 2010. It recently won an award from Ottawa Tourism for event of the year.
He's setting ambitions even higher, pledging to attract 50,000 people in its fifth year of operation – only one short year away.
Mr. Armour says it's possible through word of mouth and building up a reputation for excellence.
"Something like this can bring in a lot of people," says Mr. Armour, a cellist and also the founder of the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, which he ran until 2007.
"Our goal is to make sure we can put on interesting programming, and make sure we have a strong economic impact on the city and really do things well."
Music and Beyond bills itself as the only festival that offers classical music in combination with other arts forms. Besides the typical strings and horns seen at these events, events such as interviews, plays, films and even laser physics discussions play a role in attracting audiences.
Past iterations attracted the likes of actor Christopher Plummer, soprano Emma Kirkby and movie composer Howard Shore.
Around 70 per cent of revenues come from the festival's own activities, namely ticket sales (40 per cent), sponsorships (10 per cent) and fundraising (20 per cent). The remaining 30 per cent is mostly made up of public funding, with a smaller portion coming from donations.
Having just moved into new digs at 51 William St., nearby Ottawa Festivals, the festival is now focusing on satisfying audience tastes with more big names this July. Prominent performances will include tenor Ben Heppner and a well-known Glenn Gould filmographer, Bruno Monsaingeon.
According to Mr. Armour, only two Canadian festivals of this type have begun and survived since the 1990s: Luminato, and Music and Beyond. He adds that he wishes more people would start festivals of their own.
"The arts world needs for us to be growing. (If) somebody will start up something new and interesting, it should be encouraged. There is no limit to the kind of things that enrich the city."