CBC Calgary music library finds new home

The entire collection of the CBC Calgary music library has been bought by The Inner Sleeve in Marda Loop. The proceeds of sale will be going to two yet-to-be-announced charities.

Proceeds from the collection sale will be split between two charities

The Inner Sleeve’s owner Marilyn Hall finishes packing up the CDs in the CBC music library Wednesday. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

The CBC Calgary music library has a little bit of everything — from obscure jazz records to psychedelic album covers to rare Canadian rock.

But with the changing tide of technology, the library has gone digital and it will be officially closing down in two weeks.

The roughly 20,000 LPs and 30,000 CDs have found a new home at The Inner Sleeve.  

The Marda Loop store bought the entire collection in hopes of allowing music lovers to get their hands on a piece of CBC history.

The Inner Sleeve’s owner Marilyn Hall sorts through a box of vintage vinyl. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

"There are just some fabulous pieces in all genres of music," said store owner Marilyn Hall.

The proceeds of the sale will be going to two Calgary charities, which have not yet been announced.

"It's premature for us to give any details with respect to those conversations as negotiations are still under way," said CBC Calgary managing director Alan Thorgeirson. "We'll have more to tell in the coming weeks."         

But for now, Hall has spent the past few days dusting off the albums and packing them into boxes.

She said they have pulled out a few she wants to preview — some she has heard of, but never seen before, like Canadian folk artist Beverly Copeland’s rare album.

"I’m really looking forward to it," said Hall.

But soon it will be time for the big move.

"In a couple weeks we are planning on moving them right into the store, as much as we can fit," she said.

The Inner Sleeve looks to make room

Hall said they will be rearranging the store, utilizing the CBC music library shelves the store also purchased.

She said they don’t have an exact date yet on when the CBC albums will be in stock at The Inner Sleeve, but they hope to send it out on Twitter and Facebook in the next few weeks.

Music enthusiasts who purchase the CBC stock, which will be set apart from other merchandise by the original CBC stickers, will also get a chance to donate to charity.

"For each of the CBC records, as well as CDs, we will be keying them in as a special button on our till so that we can track which items are selling and we are planning to donate a certain portion — which is yet to be determined — to a charity which we will announce in the next few weeks as well," said Hall.

Vinyl records line the CBC music library before being packed up. (Chris dela Torre/CBC)

In recent weeks, CBC's Chris dela Torre of the Calgary Eyeopener has been celebrating the collection by playing some of the vintage classics.

"You wouldn't believe the amount of calls and emails we've received about the library," he said. "For a station that plays very little music, Radio One listeners are very passionate about the archive, and it's been such a pleasure to dig through our vaults and find strange little gems for everyone to hear."

He will be sending the library collection off in style with two more editions of the Vintage Vinyl series, one on Thursday at 7:45 a.m. that will feature "the most unexpected and amazing cover ever" and one on March 29.