Canadian Musician


National Music Centre Releases First Annual Report: Touts Success Despite Tough Alberta Economy

July 21st, 2017

[Photo: BrandonWallis]

[Photo: BrandonWallis]

The National Music Centre (NMC) has released a report summarizing the first year of operations for Studio Bell. Studio Bell, which houses the National Music Centre, opened to the public in July 2016. Since opening day, it has welcomed over 100,000 visitors and more than 680 events have been hosted at the building.

“The National Music Centre is well on its way to becoming a national cultural institution and a well-known landmark for Calgary,” says Andrew Mosker, president and CEO of the National Music Centre. “And, while this last year has been a difficult one for many in the province, we are committed to seizing on the entrepreneurial spirit that has helped propel so many Albertans forward over the years, and using it to remain competitive, innovative and fully viable during tougher economic times.”

The report says that while the 2016-2017 operational year was impacted by a number of factors, NMC has had an extremely successful first year of operations. In the last year, NMC developed partnerships with dozens of diverse community organizations, serving over 12,000 students, piloting six new school programs designed to emphasize the importance of music and creativity for young minds, providing 15 creative residencies for artists to write and record new music at the on-site recording facilities, and launching multiple temporary exhibitions, including the recently opened Big, Big Love: k.d. lang on Stage.

[Photo: Leblond Studio]

[Photo: Leblond Studio]

According to the report, since groundbreaking, NMC has delivered 380 jobs to the province and has contributed $22 million to the overall GDP. The province’s ongoing economic downturn has impacted NMC on a number of levels, however, including: a discrepancy in the number of actual visitors over the first year versus the projected number, and ongoing debt-servicing commitments which must be addressed. Given the economic impacts of these issues, NMC is committed to maintaining a nimble operational model that will allow for continued organizational growth.

“NMC’s year-one statistics are solid, and they speak for themselves,” says Mary Kapusta, director of marketing and communications at the National Music Centre. “While the last year has been hard on everybody, including us, we are confident in the partnerships we have built with our supporters and the public, and will leverage these partnerships as we move forward with another year of exciting programming and community investment.”

In 2017 and beyond, NMC says it will continue to focus on developing earned revenue streams, piloting and launching more public programs and live music events, exploring the operationalizing of the King Eddy, expanding on-site recording and live-streaming capabilities, delivering more youth and teen programs, working with tourism partners to further develop Studio Bell’s burgeoning travel trade business, and the launch of at least two new special temporary exhibitions this fall.

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