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Weekly Speaker Program

June 1, 2020: Andrew Mosker CEO, Calgary National Music Centre     StudioBell.ca

Gerry introduced our guest speaker, Andrew Mosker. Andrew was Toronto-born, Montreal-raised and has resided in Calgary for many years. With degrees in piano and musicology, he was a principal player in the creation of Calgary’s National Music Centre (aka locally as Studio Bell). He serves as the Centre’s CEO.

The National Music Centre (NMC) is the first in Canada, and also incorporates the original King Eddy Hotel, opened on July 1, 2016, and serves as a hub for music of all genres in Calgary. It is a stunning architectural landmark providing a bridge to the music industry across Canada. It is a Mecca for tourism and an a catalyst for community development within Calgary.

NMC, although using museum practices, is so much more than a museum, holding exhibitions, performances and concerts, liaising with music halls of fame and creating unique music experiences. Over 2,000 artefacts are housed and displayed within the Centre.

NMC is not government owned. It is a charitable organization.

NMC’s mission is to amplify the love, sharing and understanding of music – to be an educator for music and Canada’s musical story through all its genres. Its vision is to be the home for music in Canada.

NMC comprises more than 22,000 square feet over five floors, three recording studios ( including the historic Rolling Stones mobile studio), two classrooms (reaching over 16,000 students per year), a 300-seat performance hall, broadcasting facilities (including CKUA Radio), a café and gift shop and, of course, live music at the King Eddy.

The four pillars of NMC are exhibitions, education, performances and artist development. More than 380,000 people passed through in 2019 and 190 concerts of all musical genres were held. Artists from across Canada are attracted to use the facilities and equipment.

COVID-19 forced NMC to close its doors and cancel all upcoming scheduled events. 77% of the staff were temporarily laid off. A very creative team, however, allowed online, home recording and production of high quality and engaging content. A weekly 10-minute educational series for children is published online, on NMC’s “Amplify” website (URL amplify.nmc.ca) and the series has been picked up across Canada.

The NMC team is now busy planning for their reopening (when allowed) and debating the role that music can play in helping community in the post-COVID world. Prior to COVID, NMC also held outdoor events/concerts in the East Village square just north of the Centre. Stay tuned (via their website) for when outdoor events may again be possible. On June 6, the King Eddy will reopen (takeout only) on Thursday through Saturday.

Should you wish to support NMC in any way, information is available at studiobell.ca.

Gerry thanked Andrew, not only for his great presentation, but for his leadership and guidance in bringing NMC to fruition, and his ongoing dedication. “Music has the ability to express and convey what words can not”.

reported by Les Morgan

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