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National Music Centre offers Alberta spotlight, more in 2019

By Troy Hasselman, January 27 2019 —

The National Music Centre (NMC) is gearing up for a busy 2019 season. Numerous events, performances and workshops are scheduled that highlight the creativity and diversity present in the music scene both locally and across Canada.

NMC program director Adam Fox outlined several of the events taking place at the centre in the coming weeks and months, including Block Heater, the sites collaboration with the Calgary Folk Music Festival. The event takes place on Feb. 22 and 23 and “packs the facility with programming curated by the Calgary Folk Music Festival,” according to Fox. This will be the second year the event takes place at the NMC and continues to grow in popularity.

Before Block Heater, Family Day events will take place at the NMC on Feb. 18 with folk musician Fred Penner.

“I think it would be a great opportunity for folks to bring their kids out and celebrate the day at Studio Bell,” Fox says.

The NMC is particularly excited for the Alberta Spotlight concert series which covers a wide variety of artists from across the province.

“For anybody that maybe thinks narrowly of what music in Alberta is, we are excited to challenge those conclusions with an increasingly diverse array of artists,” Fox says.

The genres and artists highlighted run the gamut from soul singer Lynn Olagundoye on Feb. 9, Project WILD winners the Prairie States on Mar. 16, Calgary punks The Shiverettes on April 18, classical pianist Karl Hirzer and soprano Allyson Hop on May 16 and Calgary grindcore band WAKE on June 28.

“Celebrating the diversity of music created in this province is an exciting thing we get to do,” says Fox. “There is so much happening in this province that it is not difficult for us to reach out and find amazing things in every corner.”

Beyond the current season Fox says that exciting developments are in the works at the NMC including additions to their artists-in-residence program.

“We are just confirming all of our artists in residence for the coming year. Nothing I can reveal at this point but you are going to see some artists that you recognize,” Fox says. “You are also going to be excited by the range and volume of local talent as well. We’re committed to making sure that artists in our back yard have accessibility to the programs that we offer”

Past creative residencies include Juno-award winning electronic duo A Tribe Called Red, Quebecois singer-songwriter Emile Bilodeau, Halifax hip-hop artist and 2018 CBC Searchlight competition winner aquakultre as well as Calgary indie-folk group Reuben and The Dark.

Fox noted an Indigenous stream of programming that is set to be announced as part of their spring and summer season.

“There is a lot coming up that we’re going to be excited to make some announcements about.” said Fox

Fox as well commented on the NMC’s education programs, noting that the NMC served 14,000 kids in 2018 and is set to serve 15,000 kids in 2019. He highlighted a program called Backbeat, which he described as “a realm of activities on Saturdays and Sundays that are geared towards families.”

Concerts from more well-known artists are also in the works with a show from Barenaked Ladies founder Steven Page on May 25 with Fox promising more shows from other artists to be announced.

Fox concluded by adding that anyone interested in finding out more information on events at the NMC should visit the ‘What’s On” page on nmc.ca

“It’s how I keep up with things there’s so much going on” he laughed.

For tickets and more details,visit the NMC’s website. The site also offers discounts on day passes to students, which includes access to exhibitions and workshops.


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