Not Nashville North
In the past, Calgary has been called Nashville North, but today Calgary is nothing like Nashville - historically, culturally or economically.
Calgary has some great music festivals, but it is what happens in the non-festival periods that is critical to creating a 365-day musical buzz.
We should be determining how we make the Calgary Folk Festival’s Festival Hall in Inglewood, new King Eddy in East Village, new Big Four Roadhouse at Stampede Park and the Palace Theatre on Stephen Avenue sing every night of the week.
And, how can we capitalize on Studio Bell’s incredible collection of musical instruments as a catalyst for making Calgary a must place for musicians to record. We need to attract musicians from across Canada to come to Calgary to play and make music. It is not about building a new Saddledome for mega concerts.
If Calgary really wants to stand out in the music world, it must invite and integrate the music of Calgary’s diverse ethnic communities. We have to go beyond classical, country, blues, rock and roots. We must go beyond City Centre bars, pubs and coffee houses. We must foster what is happening in community centres, and churches in the suburbs.
One of the things we learned from Nashville’s museums is that music is a collaborative, grassroots process and the best music comes from the fusion of different genres of music. A good example of this would be Calgary's Sled Island Festival that happens every June and has become one of Calgary's signature festivals.
We also learned great music was not created by iconic public buildings, meaningless government policies and white papers, or by politicians, but by passionate individuals willing to risk everything to make music and to see and hear things in new ways.
Link: Alberta Music Cities Initiative
Does Calgary’s have the music mavericks who can transform our City into a music city?