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Universal Music Canada donates EMI Music Canada archive to University of Calgary

Tom Hickerson, vice-provost (Libraries and Cultural Resources) at the University of Calgary

Tom Hickerson, vice-provost (Libraries and Cultural Resources) at the University of Calgary

As the city prepares for this weekend’s JUNO Awards festivities, the University of Calgary revealed today that Universal Music Canada (UMC) has donated EMI Music Canada’s complete archives to the university’s Libraries and Cultural Resources, which were acquired by the label in 2012 when Universal Music Group purchased EMI Music.

The University of Calgary has also partnered with the National Music Centre, which played a leading role in bringing the EMI archive to Calgary by connecting UMC with the university. The partnership will allow for collaboration on opportunities for the public to celebrate music in Canada through educational programming and exhibitions that highlight the archive.

“Plans for an educational component around music and the ambitions for this archive are tremendously exciting,” said Jeffrey Remedios, President and CEO of UMC, who spoke at Thursday’s announcement along with Deane Cameron, former President and CEO of EMI Music Canada, and celebrated Canadian artist Tom Cochrane. “EMI Music Canada became the source of the music many Canadians grew up listening to. It’s such a rich and treasured history and it’s terrific that generations to come will have the opportunity to explore that.”

In addition to the gift of the EMI Music Canada Archive, Universal Music Canada will provide substantial funding over several years to support the preservation and management of the collection.

“We are eager to work with Universal Music Canada and the University of Calgary to explore programming and exhibition opportunities that bring the wealth of this collection to Canadians,” said Andrew Mosker, President and CEO for the National Music Centre. “From our burgeoning music scene, the opening of Studio Bell this summer and this incredible archive, it is safe to say that Calgary is becoming a serious music city.”

Spanning from 1949 to 2012, the EMI Music Canada Archive collection consists of 5,500 boxes containing more than 18,000 video recordings, 21,000 audio recordings and more than two million documents and photographs. Over 2,500 Canadian and international artists are represented in the archive, which includes master recordings, publicity photos, demo tapes, album cover art, creative outlines for music videos, marketing plans, awards, drafts of song lyrics and correspondence between artists, producers, engineers and EMI Music Canada executives.

Established in 1949, EMI Music Canada included Capitol Records Canada and was the recording company for a range of Canadian artists, including Anne Murray, Tom Cochrane, Sarah McLachlan, Nickelback, Glass Tiger, Kim Mitchell, Helix and the Rankin Family. The company was also the Canadian distributor for major international acts such as the Beatles, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Duran Duran, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Heart, Smashing Pumpkins, Garth Brooks, Pink Floyd, Queen and Iron Maiden.

Visit the University of Calgary’s website for more information on the archive acquisition and view the video below for a sample of what the collection has to offer.

This website made possible with the support of the Ontario Media Development Corporation.