"Stompa" hit maker Serena Ryder wowed a VIP audience at a gala last weekend as the headliner for a fundraising campaign for Calgary's National Music Centre that has its grand opening in spring of 2016.
The $250 ducats a head brought in $150,000 for a cultural centrepiece that has transformed the historic King Edward Hotel into a 160,000 square foot glass encased facility that will house the Juno, Country, and Songwriters Halls of Fame, performance spaces, recording studios, classrooms, radio broadcasting facilities and an extensive collection of artifacts and memorabilia pertinent to and about Canada's musical legacy.
"We are thrilled with the success of the Out Loud Gala," Jeni Piepgrass, NMC's Director of Development told FYI yesterday. "Nearly 700 guests joined us for food, drink and lots of live music. Serena Ryder brought the house down and gave the crowd a preview of some new songs. Events like these are important not only to help us raise funds and engage new music lovers, but they are critical to help us raise awareness about the project."
Serena's last album, Harmony, was released in 2012 and produced the hits "Stompa" and "What I Wouldn't Do" and earned her two Juno Awards for a total of six since 2008. She is finishing off work on Utopia, her next album, that is scheduled for release early in 2016.
You can find out more about the Centre, and the facility itself known as Studio Bell, which are expected to have a soft launch in time for the Junos in Calgary in the first week of April; meantime, two videos explore the space inside and the construction using time-lapse photography that by itself is quite breathtaking.
— Photo credit: Brandon Wallis