EMI Canada Archive

In 2016, the University of Calgary received a massive and highly interesting gift from Universal Music Canada: the EMI Music Canada Archives, a phenomenal collection of all sorts of documents related to over half a century of Music Industry in Canada and around the world. Let’s look a little deeper into the meaning and historic value of the EMI Canada Archive.

In addition to the EMI Archive gift, Universal Music Canada provides substantial funding for a number of years so the University can preserve and manage the impressive collection decently.

Canada’s National Music Center (NMC) and the University of Calgary set up a cooperation to provide opportunities for international audiences and the public in general for the conservation and celebration of music in Canada through various educational programs and exhibitions that are highlighting the EMI archive at Studio Bell, the new NMC facility.

NMC is excited to work with the University of Calgary and Universal Music Canada to organize exhibitions and to explore programming and educational opportunities that will bring the great importance and wealth of this wonderful EMI collection to Canadians and people from across the globe,

The Canada National Music Center opened the new Studio Bell facility in the summer of 2016, and, together with the University of Calgary taking care of the highly important EMI archive, it is one more indication that the city of Calgary has become a serious music city.

The EMI Music Canada collection includes over 5,500 boxes that contain more than 21,000 audio recordings, 18,000 videotapes, and over 2 million photographs and interesting documents. The archive comes with numerous master recordings, demo tapes, lots of publicity photos, album cover art, marketing plans, creative outlines for various EMI music videos, music awards, song lyrics drafts, and highly interesting correspondence
between producers, artists, engineers and a number of EMI Music Canada executives.

The EMI Music Canada Archive is among the culturally most significant collections that a research library has acquired in the last century. The massive collection is managed by the Archives & Special Collections of the University of Calgary and is accessible to students, researchers, faculty, and the general public from all over the world. See also this video about saving the EMI Canada Collection:

The EMI Music Canada Archive is additionally open for coursework and research within the University’s School of Creative & Performing Arts and various other academic disciplines. The University’s Libraries & Cultural Resources Department has also set up a virtual tour of various interesting items found in the EMI Music Canada Archive.

The EMI Music Canada Archive is so immense that the collection is transferred from Toronto to Calgary in multiple shipments, a process that will take several years to complete. The gift is a major milestone in the Univerity os\f Calgary’s current multi‐year fundraising campaign that also aims to have a positive impact on the school’s campus community and the city of Calgary to benefit society, unleash academic potential, stimulate research, and build up community connections and ties.

The University of Calgary is known for making tremendous progress towards becoming one of Canada’s best research universities where innovative teaching and research go hand in hand. The school strives to fully engage the communities it serves and wants to lead that process. This strategy of the University of Calgary is named Eyes High and refers to the school’s Gaelic motto that translates to I will lift up my eyes.