As many as 6,000 lined-up to attend the grand opening of the almost $200m National Music Centre (NMC) Studio Bell in Calgary on Canada Day.
Free to new citizens, and regular tickets scaled between $18, $14 and $11 for adults, seniors and kids, the 160,000 square-foot facility houses 22 stages and a collection of 22,000 objects. Bell Canada, which has a 12 year, $10 million partnership deal with the not-for-profit, stepped up to the plate on opening day to waive entrance fees for first-day spectators.
For those wanting to find out more about the centre and its exhibits, link to the NMC YouTube channel.
Marking the occasion, here’s what the Calgary Herald had to say in a same-day editorial…
The opening of the National Music Centre’s glitzy new home, Studio Bell, marks a milestone for the city. It is a grand monument to music, especially to the Canadians who create and produce so much of the talent we enjoy.
The centre is a head-turner and it advances Calgary’s deserved reputation as a forward-looking city — just as the new Central Library will do when it opens in 2018 a short distance away.
As awe-inspiring as Studio Bell’s design is, it is what is going to take place inside that is so exciting. The $191-million, 160,000-square-foot facility is an arts hub with generous exhibition and performance space, as well as recording studios and broadcasting facilities. It will serve as a first-rate attraction for those interested in the many facets of music, but also as a gathering place for singers and others who craft music.
Significantly, the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame all have their own presence within the centre’s elegant walls, showcasing a living legacy of the magic that our nation’s artists have produced. Studio Bell is, quite frankly, a game-changer for Calgary.
The project has even nestled the historic King Edward Hotel into its design, ensuring the landmark will continue to be part of Calgarians’ lives for years to come. And fittingly, the former blues hot bed serves as a live music venue that will be put to use as soon as the upcoming Calgary Stampede.
“I think not only are we telling Canada’s national music story, but we’re helping to diversify this economy in a really significant way with the jobs that we’re creating, the tourism investment that’s going to come as a result of this incredible facility opening — all of which will have tremendous economic benefits in Calgary, and in Alberta, and in the region,” says Andrew Mosker, the centre’s president and CEO.
It’s important to note that all three levels of government have contributed to Studio Bell’s making — and so has the name sponsor, which has signed a 12-year, $10-million agreement. The broad support speaks to the soundness of the project’s aspirational vision.
Calgarians enjoy their sports, their theatre and other expressions of human creativity. They embrace attractions that advance our fascination with animals, science and our past.
And Calgarians love music. Studio Bell embodies our passion for all its delights. It is an architectural, archival and creative jewel that we’ll proudly share with all who visit the city.