Arts | Heritage, Arts
Living Standards | Education And Learning

National Music Centre

The National Music Centre (NMC) gives Canada a home that amplifies the love, sharing and understanding of music. Located in Studio Bell, we preserve and celebrate Canada’s music story and inspire a new generation of music lovers through programming that includes education programs, performances, artist incubation and exhibitions.

Our Story

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.

Our Impact

What We Do

The National Music Centre is a non-profit, charitable organization located in Calgary, Alberta. NMC, housed at Studio Bell, maintains a substantial music-related museum collection, a 300-seat performance space, as well as a variety of programs designed to develop and promote music in Canada including curriculum-based education programs and an artist in residence program.

Our Mission | To give Canada a place that amplifies the love, sharing and understanding of music.

Our Vision | The National Music Centre is a national catalyst for discovery, innovation and renewal through music.

Our History | Construction began on the National Music Centre’s new home, Studio Bell, in 2013 and the 160,000 square-foot, architechturally stunning building opened on Canada Day 2016. Since opening day, NMC has welcomed over 100,000 visitors from across the world to Studio Bell. With interactive education programming, artist incubation, engaging exhibitions and performances daily, NMC showcases its impressive collection, which, today, includes over 2,000 rare instruments and artifacts, along with the Canadian Music Hall of Fame, Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Collections.

Our Accomplishments | In the first year of operations at Studio Bell, NMC has engaged over 12,000 young learners, piloted 6 new school programs, opened 7 new exhibitions, welcomed 15 artists in residence, and hosted more than 680 events.

Our Programs

How We Do It

Programming at NMC is innovative, diverse, inclusive, and collaborative. NMC reaches music lovers through programs and exhibitions, including a wide demographic of people from elementary school children to professional musicians. Providing the community with programming that celebrates the power of music for over a decade, NMC is a champion for music in Calgary, Canada and beyond.

  • NMC currently hosts over 680 community events and live musical performances
  • Over 12,000 students and youth experience our curriculum-based education programs—be it through outreach in schools, through school tours or our free after-school programs at NMC, such as Jam Club.
  • Through our Artist in Residence program, musicians from around the world explore and use our collection in the creation of new works.

Student Testimonials

“My class visited the National Music Centre. I learned about throat singing…we got to dance and try throat singing. This was very cool because it is my grandma’s culture. She is Inuit. I am in piano lessons now because I liked all the instruments and the way they sounded and I wanted to play my own instrument.” – Reese, Grade 2 student

“Jamming with many different people and learning and incorporating their styles has helped me a lot in finding my own sound.  I’ve learned that there are many musicians just like me who I can learn a thing or two from, and vice versa.” – Kiran, Jam Club student

“Jam Club opens your mind as an artist and gets you to think about your own music. I’ve written about five songs by myself now, and I’ve begun going to open mics around the city, and also, I’ve gotten my busking license so I’ve started busking as well.” – Christian, Jam Club student

Artist in Residence Testimonials

“Trying out some of these keyboards is sending me to a different kind of musical space.” – Kid Koala, musician and past NMC Artist in Residence

“Whatever I happen to sit down at ends up being the most inspiring instrument I’ve ever played.” – Nik Kozub of Shout Out Out Out Out, musician and past NMC Artist in Residence

“The instrument collection at NMC is a significant resource for Canada, and for musicians and the public in general. The Artist in Residence program is a fundamental part of it being a living collection.” – Gotye, musician and past NMC Artist in Residence

Our Requests

What You Can Do

“The National Music Centre is the long-awaited home for music in Canada. Canadians have contributed so much to music globally—there is a legacy that deserves to be celebrated.”

— Jim Cuddy, Blue Rodeo

The National Music Centre is the only national cultural institution that is preserving Canada’s music story.

NMC’s vision is to become a national catalyst for discovery, innovation, and renewal through music. To realize this vision, we are building a home for music in Canada that resonates with expanded programming, including education, performance, artist incubation, and exhibitions.

  • NMC inspires and promotes homegrown talent and nurtures the creation of new music by local, national and international artists.
  • Play your part and support the National Music Centre. Help ensure that Canada’s musical legacy will live on for generations to come.

Together, we can give our country’s music a place to call home.

Visit nmc.ca for more information and nmc.ca/donate to play your part.

Stay Connected

Contact

Phil Grace

National Music Centre

403.543.5107

Charitable Number: 136407574RR0001

Visit Our Website

Annual Operating Budget:

7644000