Why We Exist
When famed Calgary blues club the King Edward Hotel closed in 2004, there was an outcry from the local and national music community. During its over 100-year existence, the Eddy had hosted icons, such as blues pioneers Pinetop Perkins and Buddy Guy and CanRock stalwart Bryan Adams, offering high-quality live music experiences while bringing people from all walks of life together. Rich or poor, black or white, politicians rubbed shoulders with music scenesters and bikers sat alongside corporate influencers. The Eddy represented the unifying power of music.
At the same time as its closing, the National Music Centre (NMC) had been scouring the city for the location of its new 160,000 square-foot facility. With a mandate to preserve and celebrate Canada’s music story, NMC’s new home needed to be anchored by a strong music story. The King Eddy was that story and without NMC that important story would have been lost.
Considered the largest artifact in NMC’s collection of over 2,000 rare instruments, artifacts, sound equipment and Canadian music memorabilia, the restored King Eddy was incorporated into the design of NMC’s new home at Studio Bell, and music once again rings through the Eddy as a live music venue.
Since Studio Bell opened its doors in 2016 at the site of the historic blues club, it has continued to be sacred ground for music lovers.