EMI Music Canada (EMI-MC) was established in 1949 as a recording company and included also Capitol Records Canada (CRC). The music recording company featured a wide range of Canadian artists and was also the distributor in Canada of its international music division.  EM Music Canada had its headquarters in Toronto and branch offices in Montreal, Calgary and Vancouver.

Capitol Records Canada, under direction of EMI Music Canada, was the first North American record label to release Pink Floyd and The Beatles on the north American continent. The 1963, the Beatles singles ‘Please Please me’,  ‘Love Me Do’, and ‘From Me to You’ came out in Canada several months before ‘She Loves You’ was released in the United States as the Beatles’ first release there.

EMI Music Canada was distributing more than fifty independent Canadian record labels, and the company was the first to get ‘First Nations Music Wawataqy Recordings’ under contract as well as the ‘First Nations label’, and EMI Canada was also the first company to distribute the hip‐hop label ‘Beat Factory’.

EMI Music Canada Archive Artists

All through its almost 65-year history, EMI Canada contracted or distributed over 200 Canadian performers and artists, including Anne Murray, Tom Cochrane, Glass Tiger, Paul Anka, the Rankin Family, Guy Lombardo, Helix, John McDermott, Moist, the Tea Party, the Band, Maynard Ferguson, Gil Evans, Sarah McLachlan, Colin James, Rita MacNeil, Burton Cummings, Kim Mitchell, David Usher, Nickelback, Murray McLaughlan, Sylvia Tyson, Red Rider, k‐os, Susan Aglukark, Econoline Crush, Robbie Robertson, Stompin’ Tom Connors, Lisa Del Bello/Dalbello, Grapes of Wrath, Rush, David Wilcox, April Wine, Luba. Beau Dommage, Shirley Eikhard, Streetheart, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Dream Warriors, I Mother Earth, Pierre Lalonde, Prism, and the Watchmen.

Capitol Records Canada, under EMI Canada, focused on developing a lot of Canadian talent, but also released and distributed records of internationally acclaimed  artists such as David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, Duran Duran, the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, the Beach Boys, Kenny Rodgers, Garth Brooks, Pink Floyd, Iron Maiden, Alice Cooper, Megadeth, Heart, Steve Miller Band, Pet Shop Boys, Janet Jackson, Crowded House, Tina Turner, Radiohead, Smashing Pumpkins, MC Hammer, Robert palmer, the Spice Girls, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Bonnie Raitt, Glen Campbell, Kingston Trio, Cliff Richards, Norah Jones, Barry Manilow, Wings, Paul McCartney, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Kate Bush, Poison, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Queen, The Knack, UB40, Dean Martin, Miles Davis, Nat King Cole, and Joe Cocker.

Universal Music Canada has acquired EMI Music Canada in 2012 and the company has promised to contribute financing the preservation and management of the EMI Music Canada Archives collection. The Archive will both be available to the public and to instructors and students who can use it for research purposes, and for course work at the University of Calgary’s School of Creative & Performing Arts.

There are exiting plans for educational components in music, and the school has tremendously high ambitions for the EMI archive. EMI Music Canada has become the most important source of the music that so many Canadians listened to as they grew up. The Archives represent a truly rich and treasured history, and Universal deserves praise for its contributions that allow generations to come to explore an important music era. Read more about it here.