What if a visit to the museum was as exciting as going to a music festival? That sense of excitement, discovering new artists, hearing new sounds and celebrating with friends – this is the approach NMC is taking to developing our exhibitions.

Curiosity will drive visitors to explore the sounds, light and interactive activities pouring out of the 22 individual exhibition stages, encouraging them to engage in an ever-evolving discussion around music in Canada.

Click here to view NMC’s collection items currently on exhibit.

Current Temporary Exhibitions

Trailblazers: Alberta

With the support of ATB Financial, Trailblazers: Alberta pays homage to the province’s own musical groundbreakers. It features wall graphics, video interviews, and concert footage from Alberta’s hitmakers, musical masters, production pros, and industry leaders, such as singer-songwriter Feist, Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger, pop megastars Tegan and Sara, Grammy-winning producer-engineer Shawn Everett, and Edmonton broadcaster Holger Petersen, to name a few. It also highlights on-the-rise and emerging artists and their breakthrough accomplishments, including country songstress Lindsay Ell, Cree soundscapers nêhiyawak, blues-rockers The Static Shift, whose career was catapulted after being featured on CTV’s The Launch, and others. Trailblazers: Alberta is the third exhibit celebrating the ATB Storytellers program and initiative to document Alberta’s music history. Runs from October 26, 2018 with new stories being added over the next few years.

Showcase: 2018 Inductees

Showcase: 2018 Inductees honours the two 2018 Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame inductees, country icon Terri Clark and broadcaster Jackie Rae Greening, both Alberta-bred trailblazers. It displays artifacts from this year’s recipients, including three of Clark’s guitars from different stages in her life and career—her childhood acoustic guitar, an electric guitar from the 2004 “Girls Lie Too” music video, and the maple leaf-emblazoned guitar used by Clark during a 2013 Canada Day performance in Ottawa—along with textiles from the singer-songwriter, an assortment of memorabilia, and a framed handwritten letter to Clark from Garth Brooks (c. 1995). Other treasures include Greening’s 2005 CCMA Award for “On-Air Personality of the Year.” Runs until the fall of 2019.

BNL Exhibition

Barenaked Ladies

As one of Canada’s most unique and acclaimed international music exports of the past 30 years, Barenaked Ladies (BNL) carved out a legacy with their irreverent sense of humour and blend of pop, folk, alt-rock, and even rap. Milestones: Barenaked Ladies, captures BNL’s career trajectory—from their first concert as teenagers at Toronto City Hall, to making history as the best-selling independent artists in Canadian history, and finally to their international breakthrough in the U.S. Runs until February 2019.

Level One

Canada Music Square/
Drop-in Zone/RSM

Welcome to the National Music Centre—a year ‘round music festival. Make yourself at home, plan your visit, take in a live show, make music with friends, or sign up for an NMC program or tour.

Level Two

Music Mosaic

We are what we create. Canada’s identity is reflected in our music. Since the earliest of times, many people and cultures have contributed to the vibrant and creative music scene in Canada today.

This level holds two main stages and two side stages, plus a 300-seat theatre.

Level Three

Power of Music

It stimulates your brain, moves your body, and nourishes your soul. It can make you cry in your popcorn or yodel at the top of your lungs. Music is powerful stuff.

This level holds three main stages and two side stages.

Level Four

Making Music

Whether you’re an amateur or a professional, we can all make music.

This level holds four main stages plus two side stages.

Level Five

Celebrating Music

On this floor we celebrate recognized Canadian musicians who have left their mark on this country and beyond. And if there’s a special musician that you’d like to bring into the fold, we’ve got room for that, too!

This level holds three main stages and two side stages, plus another space for special/temporary exhibitions. To learn more about the Halls of Fame, click here.


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