University of Calgary gets the EMI Music Canada Archive

On March 31, 2016, the University of Calgary received a great donation: Universal Music Canada (UMC) donated the entire archive of the historically important music label EMI Music Canada to the University. The school’s partnership with Canada’s National Music Center guarantees that the archive will be publicly accessible for the celebration and education of music. This article digs a little deeper into what happens when the University of Calgary gets the EMI Music Canada Archive.

Universal Music Canada (UMC) donated the EMI Music Canada’s archive to the Libraries and Cultural Resources Center f the University. The University partnered with NMC (the
National Music Center) that played a crucial role in bringing the important archive to Calgary by connecting the University with UMC.

Universal Music Canada got hold of the EMI archive in 2012 when Universal Music Group acquired EMI Music. Thanks to this impressive gift, these historically important files, documents, and music recordings will be available to the public. EMI Canada was the label that represented top-notch Canadian artists for over half a century and distributed internationally renown artists across North America.

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

The University of Calgary is delighted to have received this rich and highly relevant cultural and business archive and to be entrusted with the preservation and safekeeping of this unique testament to important Canadian ingenuity, The school aspires to be the best so they can inspire the very best in others. This Universal Music Canada gift and the partnership between the school and the National Music Center allows it to do exactly that.

Under the wings of EMI Music Canada, Capitol Records Canada became the first North American label to release Pink Floyd and The Beatles. The 1963 Beatles singles “From Me to You”, “Love Me Do”, and “Please Please Me” were actually released months earlier in Canada than “She Loves You” came out as the band’s first single in the United States.

Music fans, students, scientists, and researchers from Calgary and all around Canada and the world now have the opportunity to access this phenomenal documentation of over five decades of contemporary and interesting music that spans a wide variety of music genres such as pop, rock, country, jazz, heavy metal, and folk.

EMI Music Canada was not only a major distributor of recordings by international artists, but the company also focused on the development of lots of promising Canadian talent. The University has great plans for educational purposes with this great music archive and the school’s ambitions for this important archive are absolutely exciting, EMI Music Canada was one of the dominant sources of the music that a lot of Canadians grew up with. It’s really a treasured and rich history and the school is delighted to offer the opportunity for exploration of the rich past for generations to come.