Calgary music centre to house artifacts of Canadian greats

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame is one step closer to having a bricks-and-mortar home.

National Music Centre slated to open in Calgary's East Village in 2014

The Canadian Music Hall of Fame is one step closer to having a bricks-and-mortar home.

The Cantos Music Foundation, a Calgary group that runs music programs, has been trying to build a world-class Canadian music centre for the past few years.

Now, the organization behind the Juno Awards and the Canadian Music Hall of Fame is getting on board as well.

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS) has announced it's working with Cantos to give the hall of fame a physical home in Calgary in the National Music Centre soon to be built.

Cantos president and CEO Andrew Mosker said the centre would give the hall of fame a place to display artifacts of Canada's musical greats. The Canadian Music Hall of Fame has inducted musicians such as Oscar Peterson, Gordon Lightfoot, Bryan Adams and most recently, Shania Twain.

Those artifacts are still being procured, Mosker said.

"I can't tell you that we have a Martin D-28 guitar that was owned by 'X' that Neil Young is donating, or that we have one of Glenn Gould's pianos.... [But] all those things exist out there," he said.

Mosker said the plan is to eventually establish co-locations across Canada, each displaying more music artifacts.

Cantos already has an extensive vintage keyboard collection and memorabilia from the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, he added.

Final design to be unveiled this spring

The total cost of the National Music Centre project in Calgary's East Village is estimated at $132.5 million, $110.5 million of which would be for the building itself.

Mosker said the three levels of government have committed $75 million in funding. With the $6 million that's already been raised, Cantos has to come up with about $50 million more.

Mosker said the centre's slated opening date is winter 2014.

"We feel very confident that we'll have a shovel in the ground by the fall of 2011," he said.

Mosker said a city development permit had been acquired for the building and was under review.

Cantos has enough financing in place to finish the design work, he said, and the final design of the National Music Centre is set to be unveiled this spring.