About Us

Mission: The National Music Centre gives Canada a place that amplifies the love, sharing and understanding of music.

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

History: The roots of the National Music Centre and its collection can be traced to the installation of a pipe organ (known as the Carthy Organ) in Calgary’s Jack Singer Concert Hall in 1987. This instrument was built in Saint- Hyacinthe, Quebec, by Casavant Frères Ltd, which is Canada’s oldest continuously operating musical instrument company. This installation of this instrument was the genesis of the International Organ Festival and Competition operated by TriumphEnt from 1990 to 2002. It also subsequently inspired the creation of a new organization known as the Chinook Keyboard Centre, which began developing a collection of keyboard instruments in mid-1996.

Chinook Keyboard Centre was soon renamed Cantos Music Museum and expanded the scope of its collection beyond keyboard instruments to include electronic instruments and sound equipment beginning in the year 2000, it also began to offer limited programming in the way of gallery tours and concerts.

In 2003, TriumphEnt and Cantos Music Museum joined forces to become the Cantos Music Foundation, and expanded its presentation of music programs using the collection and gallery spaces. In 2005, an exhibition commemorating 100 years of music in Alberta to mark the Centennial planted the seed to expand the organization’s scope to chronicle, celebrate, and foster a broader vision for music in Canada. And so, in February 2012, Cantos became the National Music Centre.

A new era in NMC’s legacy began in 2013 when construction began on its new building. The new NMC building will be a 160,000 square-foot, architecturally stunning destination in the heart of Calgary’s East Village. With interactive education programming, artist incubation, engaging exhibitions and performances daily, NMC’s new space will showcase the expanded collection, which, today, includes over 2,000 rare instruments and artifacts, along with the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Collections.

On April 9, 2015, NMC announced a 12-year, $10 million partnership to support the construction of NMC’s new permanent home in Calgary’s East Village. Named Studio Bell, the facility will open to the public in the summer 2016, becoming a hub for music in Calgary and Canada.

For more information on Studio Bell, visit nmc.ca/studiobell.

To view our Annual Report, click here.


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