Wednesday, January 13, 2010

National Music Centre Project makes big strides

The City of Calgary Standing Policy Committee on Community and Protective Services today approved for recommendation by City Council a financial commitment towards the building of a National Music Centre project at the site of the “King Eddy” in the East Village. Council still has to approve the funding, which could be as early as January 25.

"This is a proud moment for music in Canada,” said Beth Gignac, manager of Arts and Culture with The City. “As Calgarians, we should be equally proud to have an organization like Cantos in our community who have had the vision to recognize a significant gap in our national cultural community and have chosen to create this amazing new resource for Canadian music in Calgary."

If the funding is approved by Council on January 25th, the planned 80,000-square-foot facility on the site of the legendary King Edward Hotel, will integrate the world-renowned living Cantos Music Collection, the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Collection, recording studios, education and public programming, performance space, public radio broadcasting space, seven-days-a-week live music venue, music and wellness research centre, artists-in-residence programs and more.

“We are ecstatic," says Andrew Mosker, executive director of Cantos. "This endorsement from the City gives our project the credibility and the momentum to bring the National Music Centre to fruition. We truly believe this is a monumental decision on the part of the City to build a strong, vibrant community that all Calgarians can be proud of and we commend them for their vision and their commitment to making Calgary a cultural leader in this country and for putting another piece of Calgary on the international map."

The City will release $2.5 million in "seed funding" that will allow design work to continue with the architectural team and allow for Cantos to continue building support and awareness across the country in 2010. The payment of the balance of the $25-million commitment is contingent on similar commitments from the provincial and federal governments as well as support from corporate and individual donors.

"This project is the first of its kind in Canada and the world," says Mosker. "It will be a hub for all things music in Canada that will not only tell Canada's national music story but celebrate and foster the creation, performance and preservation of music through a wide array of public programs."

***Calgary's National Music Centre as seen on Cantos.ca

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