Alberta

  • population: 4,244,255
  • capital city: Edmonton
  • area: 661,000 sq. km. – 4th largest province
  • Alberta has a diverse professional music community especially in Roots, Indie Rock and Country
  • Alberta’s largest city Calgary is home to Canada’s National Music Centre
  • The Drumheller portion of the Red Deer River valley is often referred to as ‘Dinosaur Valley’

Alberta has a strong live music market, often described as the second largest after the Greater Toronto Area. Alberta has two main urban regions, Edmonton and Calgary, which are two of the fast growing cities in North America. Many of Canada’s largest music promoters have offices in Alberta.

Alberta Music is here to build, connect and inspire a dynamic Alberta music industry

ALBERTA MUSIC

  • North Office
    Ste. 102, Western Supplies Bldg.
    10722 – 103 Avenue
    Edmonton, AB T5J 5G7
    P: 780-428-3372
  • South Office
    NMC Building (2nd Floor)
    134 11th Ave SE
    Calgary, AB T2G 0X8
    P: 587-955-9551
    www.albertamusic.org
    Executive Director: Chris Wynters

Founded in 1980, and incorporated in 1984, the Alberta Music Industry Association is an all-inclusive resource for Alberta’s music industry.

Working closely with our regional WCMA partners, Alberta Music has a permanent staff of five, with offices in Edmonton and Calgary, dedicated to helping professionals in the music industry to succeed in their careers.

The organization frequently runs information sessions and workshops, provides financial tour support, assistance in attending festival/conferences and produces showcase opportunities for artists at events like Canadian Music Week (Toronto), The Great Escape (Brighton) and Reeperbahn (Hamburg).

Key activities:

  • Member Services – grants, programs, advice, workshops, etc.
  • External advocacy work – in cooperation with other organizations, government, advocacy, partnerships.
  • Maintain the support and growth of the Western Canadian Music Alliance.

Alberta Music logo

Explore the Province of Alberta

Alberta has a young and affluent population known for going out to festivals and concerts.

It is often said that the Edmonton to Calgary corridor, including Red Deer in between, is the second best live music market outside of the Greater Toronto Area.

Edmonton Folk Music Festival01

It can be quite difficult to tour in the winter in Alberta. Highway 2 between Edmonton and Calgary is an extremely busy stretch of road and can be very dangerous during winter months. It’s best to leave a good amount of time (5 hours) to get between the two cities between the months of November and March.

There are dozens of open stages in Edmonton and Calgary that can be good places to build a fan base on off nights. You can find listings of these events in local weekly papers.

There is a reason for Live Nation having an office in Calgary, not to mention the province being the home-base for Canada’s second largest promoter, Union Events.

Edmonton Folk Festival00

Key Regions in the Province of Alberta

Calgary population 1,278,962

Key venues/clubs: HiFi Club; VERNS; Crazy Horse Saloon; Broken City; RePublik; The Ironwood; MacEwan Hall; The Palomino; Ranchlands

Key radio: 95.3 The PEAK; CKAV-FM; Shine FM; Ici musique Alberta; AMP Radio Calgary; CJSW; CJAY; X 92.9; CKUA

Colleges/Universities: University of Calgary; Southern Alberta Institute of Technology; Mount Royal University


Edmonton population 1,159,869

Key venues/clubs: Winspear Centre; Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium; Rexall Place; The Starlite Room; Brixx Niteclub; The Pawn Shop; Wunderbar; The Mercury Room; Blue Chair Café; The Needle; Cook County Saloon; The Ranch

Key radio: CJSR; CKAV-FM; CBC Radio-2 Edmonton; The Bounce; 925 Fresh Radio; 93.1 The One; CKUA

Colleges/Universities: University of Alberta; Northern Alberta Institute of Technology; Concordia University College of Alberta; The Kings University


Grande Prairie population 100,000

Key venues: Hammerheads; 2nd Street Theatre; GP Region College Theatre

Key radio: Sun FM; CJXX; CKUA

Colleges/Universities: Grande Prairie Regional College


Red Deer population 98,000

Key venues: The Hideout; The Vat; Fratters Speakeasy; Enmax Centium

Key radio: Shine FM; Sunny 94; KG Country; CKFM; Zed 98.9; CBC Radio 2 Edmonton; 100.7 CRUZ FM

Colleges/Universities: Red Deer College


Lethbridge population 93,000

Key venues: Pulse Nightclub and Pub; Essie’s Nightclub; The Slice Bar & Grill; Enmax Centre

Key radio: CKXU; CBC Radio 2 Edmonton; B-93.3; Classic hits 94.1; Country 95.5 FM; The Bridge; CKUA

Colleges/Universities: University of Lethbridge

Alberta’s major festivals

Calgary Stampede

http://cs.calgarystampede.com/music/Calgary

The Calgary Stampede is an annual rodeo, exhibition and festival held every July in Calgary, Alberta. Also known as “The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth”, the Stampede attracts over one million visitors per year and features one of the world’s largest rodeos, a parade, midway, stage shows, concerts, agricultural competitions, chuckwagon racing and First Nations exhibitions.

The Virgin Mobile Stampede Concert Series – brings the world’s biggest and best live acts to the Scotiabank Saddledome.

And Nashville North – is a live country music paradise, including some of the most exciting live acts in all of country music.

Festival alumni: Moist, Arkells, Magic!, Blake Shelton, Stevie Wonder, Corb Lund.


Sled Island

http://www.sledisland.com/Calgary

Sled Island is an annual 5-day music and arts festival featuring over 250 bands plus film, art, comedy and more across 30+ venues in Calgary in June.

Since 2007, Sled Island’s thoughtful, eclectic programming and independent spirit have fused with Calgary’s youthful energy to produce a one-of-a-kind festival experience.

Festival alumni: Daniel Lanois, Spiritualized, Joel Plaskett, St. Vincent, Feist, Timber Timbre.


Calgary Folk Music Festival

http://www.calgaryfolkfest.com/Calgary

Revel in one of the ‘7 musical wonders of the world’ (Globe and Mail) at the Calgary Folk Music Festival at Prince’s Island Park, an annual sound salvation that programs 76 icons and upstarts from 16 countries on 8 stages in concerts and magical collaborative sessions.

It’s a genre-defying, continent-linking festival where fiercely independent, creative troubadours and master instrumentalists from Mauritania, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, the UK, Ethiopia, the United States and Canada celebrate diverse traditions, deep roots and cool grooves.

Our special aboriginal program Great Spirits unites artists from Australia, the United States and Canada.

Festival Alumni: Rufus Wainwright, A Tribe Called Red, Lucinda Williams, Father John Misty, The Jayhawks, Andrew Bird, Bruce Cockburn.


Interstellar Rodeo Edmonton

http://interstellarrodeo.com/Heritage Amphitheatre, Edmonton

The Interstellar Rodeo Edmonton is both imaginative and cohesive, bursting with extraordinary talent from top to bottom. It always aims to shine the spotlight on musical mavericks, those who blaze trails and shatter boundaries.

Consider our 2015 headliners: St. Vincent, Grammy-winning art rock guitar hero; Father John Misty, indie savant and sly social critic; Charles Bradley, Screaming Eagle of Soul with a heart of gold; Buffy Sainte-Marie, badass musical, cultural and political legend. At every turn, the 2015 Interstellar Rodeo lineup offers important artistic voices of multiple generations.

Festival alumni: Tom Wilson, Great Lake Swimmers, Hey Rosetta!, Corb Lund.


Edmonton Folk Music Festival

http://www.edmontonfolkfest.org/Gallagher Park, Edmonton

Edmonton Folk Music Festival, staged in beautiful downtown Gallagher Park, happens each year in the second weekend in August. It is one of the oldest music festivals in Western Canada and usually sells out in a matter of minutes.

Festival alumni: Albert Lee, Ben Harper and Charlie Musselwhite, Blind Boys of Alabama, Blue Rodeo, Leon Redbone, Los Lobos, Bruce Cockburn, Feist, Loreena McKennit, Neko Case, Arrested Development, David Bromberg.


Edmonton International Jazz Festival

http://www.edmontonjazz.com/Gallagher Park, Edmonton

The Edmonton Jazz Festival Society instills in audiences the appreciation of jazz music as a diverse art form, connecting regional audiences with provincial, national and international jazz artists.

The TD Edmonton International Jazz Festival honors the community’s decades-long jazz tradition, uniting everything from funk, Afro-Cuban, bebop, contemporary, swing, R&B, standards and more under one musical umbrella.

The Festival includes shows for hard-core jazz aficionados and newcomers alike with intimate club shows, cabaret-style performances, free outdoor concerts and international touring acts.

Festival alumni: The Bad plus Joshua Redman, Lisa Fischer, Bobby McFerrin, Jane Bunnett, Herbie Hancock, Peggy Lee, Wayne Shorter Quartet, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra w/Wynton Marsalis, Trombone Shorty, Chick Corea.

Alberta music biz news