Universal Music Canada donates the archives of EMI Music Canada

The National Music City complex, slated to open its doors later this summer at Studio Bell in Calgary, received a major boost Wednesday with the announcement that Universal Music Canada has donated the archives of EMI Music Canada.

At a press conference staged yesterday, during Junofest activities, at the University of Calgary, UMC president Jeffrey Remedios confirmed the donation to the University of Calgary which will

EMI Archive
EMI Archive

warehouse the massive, historical donation.

The Beatles
The Beatles

In a press release issued during the press conference, it is estimated that the donation comprises of more than 5500 bankers boxes containing over 18,000 video recordings, 21,000 audio recordings and over 2 million photographs and documents. These archives include master recordings, demo tapes, original artwork and correspondence from a who’s who of international and Canadian artists including The Beatles, Tina Turner, Garth Brooks, Pink Floyd, Beach Boys and Canadian artists such as Anne Murray, Prism, Glass Tiger and Tom Cochrane (Red Rider) who was in attendance at the press conference along with former Capitol/EMI president Deane Cameron.

Tom Cochrane

Universal Music Canada obtained the archives when they purchase EMI in 2012. Cameron, aware that EMI was going to be sold when they moved  from American Drive to much smaller facilities at Liberty Village, made the heads up decision to archive the label’s historical material.

As plans for the new NMC were formulated for the Studio Bell site at the University of Calgary, the facility curator, Andrew Mosker was invited to fly to Toronto and make a presentation on the plans for NMC with, then Universal Music Canada president, Randy Lennox. It was during this meeting that Mosker was offered the EMI archives.

Credit: Monic Richard. Anne Murray handout
Anne Murray

But where was Mosker going to store over 5500 bankers boxes in a facility yet to be constructed? That answer came from the University of Calgary. He was put in touch with the University’s Vice-Provost Tom Huckerson who also doubles as head of the facility’s library and cultural resources. Huckerson readily agreed to store the archives at the U of C, and two years after that original meeting in Toronto, yesterday’s press conference announced this historic acquisition.

These archives will be displayed during a series of thematic presentations once the facility opens later this summer and the contents will be of significance to foreign music fans, especially Beatle fans who will get to observe these historical artifacts.

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