Cantos Music Foundation: A Catalyst for Canadian Music

Cantos Music Foundation is a national catalyst for discovery, innovation and renewal through music. Created on January 1, 2003, from the marriage of two local organizations – TriumphEnt Foundation and Cantos Music Museum – it presents programming centred specifically on the organ family of instruments, including the Calgary International Organ Festival. Cantos Music Museum was founded in 1997 and focuses on developing a world-class collection of musical instruments and related materials.

Today, Cantos has nearly 2,000 musical artifacts in its collection including one of the largest collections of keyboard instruments in the world, vintage recording equipment, and the latest technology in recording and sound synthesis. The collection also includes items from Alberta’s musical traditions as well as the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame Collection, which currently resides on the Stampede Grounds.

The Foundation also hosts more than 60,000 people every year. Their Creative Spaces program provides inexpensive performance space for artists of all genres, even beyond music, at their current location (134 11 Avenue SE).

Cantos has become an integral part of the Calgary’s arts and culture community and is a pivotal contributor to future musicians and artists. They offer extensive education programs to school kids from kindergarten through to post-secondary. Kids learn science, math and social studies through music. Currently they are working on a program on synthesized sound in partnership with SAIT Polytechnic.

They also offer a variety of programs to educate and engage people in the community. On the Cantos stage, they host Blue Mondays, an all ages blues jam where kids and veterans jam together. While also being an active part of the community, their relationships within the arts and culture community means that you will often find them providing instruments for special performances, or providing their performance space for a festival or workshop.

Perhaps the most exciting thing currently for Cantos is the development of the National Music Centre. Located where the infamous King Edward Hotel resides in Calgary’s East Village, this 110,000 sq.ft., $130 million project will give Canada a place that amplifies the love, sharing and understanding of music. Like nothing else in Canada, the National Music Centre will tell Canada’s music story in a cohesive way through expanded collections and exhibitions, extensive programming and national outreach through partner organizations.