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National Music Centre of Canada breaks ground in Calgary
The groundbreaking marks the completion of a four year visioning and development process that began with an international architect search and design competition that Allied Works won in 2009.

CALGARY.- Yesterday the National Music Centre of Canada (NMC) hosted a groundbreaking ceremony at the site of the King Edward Hotel in Calgary, Alberta. The groundbreaking celebration continued Friday evening with a public concert of live local music.

The National Music Centre will repurpose and revitalize the 1905 ‘King Eddy,’ site of a legendary blues club in Calgary’s East Village. When complete, the facility will comprise 160,000 sf of new space for performance, recording, broadcast, exhibitions, education and public events. Designed by Allied Works Architecture, the new NMC will be the first facility of its kind in North America, and will be the first institution devoted entirely to preserving and promoting Canada’s diverse musical heritage.

The groundbreaking marks the completion of a four year visioning and development process that began with an international architect search and design competition that Allied Works won in 2009. In the time since, the design has evolved into a singular and innovative structure that will give Calgary its only national cultural institution and a major new work of internationally recognized, contemporary architecture.

NMC President and CEO, Andrew Mosker said, “Our journey with Allied Works has been exciting, and today marks an important milestone as we move our shared vision closer to reality.” Commenting on the design process, Brad Cloepfil, founder and design principal of Allied Works, stated that “it has been truly rewarding to work with Andrew and the NMC to invent a new national institution, both in program and architecture – a building of and for music, and one that will catalyze a community and a country.”

The National Music Centre is currently on schedule to open in 2015.

In 2009, the National Music Centre (then known as Cantos Music Foundation) began a major effort to visualize and develop a new, national cultural institution devoted to Canada’s rich and diverse musical heritage. As part of this process, NMC sponsored an international architect search and design competition. After a finalist round that included Atelier Jean Nouvel (Paris), Diller Scofidio and Renfro (New York), Saucier + Perotte (Montreal) and Studio Pali Fekete (Los Angeles), the selection committee awarded the commission to Allied Works Architecture.

The National Music Centre is equally a museum, performance venue, interactive music education space, recording studio and broadcast facility. The building will be located close to Stampede Grounds in Calgary’s historic East Village, at the site of the historic 1905 King Edward Hotel, one of the oldest buildings in the city and home to a legendary blues club that closed in 2004. NMC will fully restore and integrate the ‘King Eddy’ with a major work of architecture that will house the Centre’s new performance and exhibition spaces.

When completed in 2015, the five storey, 160,000 square-foot Centre will become one of Canada’s most significant national institutions, a place where all Canadians and visitors can learn the story of music in Canada and experience a full spectrum of live performance, interactive exhibitions and educational opportunities. At the same time, it will have a tremendous impact on the city of Calgary and province of Alberta, by helping to preserve its architectural and cultural history while catalyzing the redevelopment of a core urban district.

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