Studio Bell hosts ceremonial first sound event on June 29 in advance of opening to the public on Canada Day

June 28, 2016

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Eya Hey Nakoda performed the ceremonial first sound in Studio Bell. Credit: Brandon Wallis

Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre (NMC), is ready to welcome the world as the country’s first national cultural institution dedicated to celebrating music in Canada.

Studio Bell, designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture, is a new state-of-the-art institution in the heart of Calgary’s East Village. Encompassing 160,000-square-feet of new construction, the building’s design was inspired by the landscape of Western Canada and the design of instruments themselves, and includes 22,000-square-feet of exhibition space, a 300-seat performance hall, as well as recording and broadcast facilities.

“The opening of Studio Bell is a momentous occasion for Canada and for Alberta, and it will be marked by a series of opening celebrations this year,” said Andrew Mosker, NMC’s President and CEO. “It is important for us to open our doors to the public now to learn from our new space and begin to live our vision. I look forward to welcoming the world to Calgary to experience the wealth of Canada’s music story and the incredible future potential it holds.”

Andrew Mosker delivering his speech at the media launch. Credit: Neil Zeller.

Andrew Mosker delivering his speech at the media launch. Credit: Neil Zeller.

In advance of Studio Bell’s public opening on Canada Day, a special ceremonial event occurred on June 29, which included a blessing led by Casey Eagle Speaker, and the first official sound in the building was provided by Eya Hey Nakoda, a world class championship drum group that is predominantly Nakoda from the Bearspaw, Chiniki and Wesley First Nations.

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In attendence at the event, from left to right: Michael Brown, President CMLC, Host; Andrew Mosker, President and CEO, NMC; Brad Cloepfil, Founding Principal, Allied Works Architecture; Mayor Naheed Nenshi; Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Lois Mitchell; Loring Phinney, Vice President, Corporate Marketing at Bell; Canadian music icon, Alan Doyle; Canadian music icon, Jim Cuddy; and the Honourable Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism for Alberta. Credit: Neil Zeller.

To share in the celebration were special guests Her Honour, the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta, Lois Mitchell; the Honourable Ricardo Miranda, Minister of Culture and Tourism for Alberta; Mayor Naheed Nenshi; Loring Phinney, Vice President, Corporate Marketing at Bell; Michael Brown, President CMLC, Host; Andrew Mosker, President and CEO, NMC; and Brad Cloepfil, Founding Principal, Allied Works Architecture. The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, also sent regards via video message.

“From its new state-of-the-art home inside Studio Bell, the National Music Centre will strengthen the creative economy, and foster the ecology of talent and ideas,” declared Minister Sohi. “Our Government is excited to see NMC nurture and inspire the next generation of musicians and increase the global competitiveness of Canadian music.”

“This international facility is a gift to our country—and the world—that is proudly rooted in Alberta,” said Minister Miranda. “We see the potential for this project to support our economy through job creation and economic diversification. NMC will create more national and international opportunities for Alberta artists and the professionals that work with them.”

“The opening of Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre, is the culmination of a lot of hard work and dreams of so many in our community and beyond,” said Naheed Nenshi, Mayor of Calgary. “It’s my hope that this special place will truly become the centre of music in Canada.”

Canadian music icons Jim Cuddy and Alan Doyle were also present to tour the facility and bring music into the building with special performances.

Alan Doyle performed "Ordinary Day" at the media launch. Credit: Neil Zeller.

Alan Doyle performed “Ordinary Day” at the media launch. Credit: Neil Zeller.

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The crowd watching Jim Cuddy perform “Try” at the launch. Credit: Neil Zeller.

“Congratulations to the National Music Centre on opening their long-awaited home at Studio Bell.  Canadians have contributed so much to music, and it is a legacy that deserves to be celebrated on an international level,” said Jim Cuddy.

“So glad to be here representing Newfoundland and see firsthand how the National Music Centre is honouring the icons and pioneers of Canadian music. It’s a real treat,” said Alan Doyle.

The June 29 media event and Studio Bell’s Canada Day opening mark the first of several celebrations that NMC has planned over the months. Full programmatic and architectural completion is set for October 2016. The project cost is $191 million, and NMC has already raised over $130 million through its capital campaign.

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