The holidays are on their way, Calgary! This year, more than ever, the gift of giving is going to play a huge part in all of our lives. The National Music Centre, courtesy of ATB, is doing just that by offering free weekend admission to Studio Bell from the middle of November all the way through the end of 2020! Wow, looks like Christmas is coming early, folks!

Starting November 14th and running until December 31st, music fans and curious Calgarians will be able to explore Studio Bell for free! It is encouraged, however, that you pay what you can either online or in-person to support the National Music Centre.

studio bell national music centre

Plus, you can bring in a non-perishable food item that will be donated to the Calgary Food Bank. It is the gift-giving season, after all. Just make sure you reserve your free timed-tickets here, otherwise, you might not be able to gain entry based on capacity limitations. NMC is also sweetening the deal by offering 50% off all memberships between November 14th to December 31st, so you can give the gift of music, too. Become a member here.

So, what can visitors expect on a weekend trip to Studio Bell? You can explore a self-guided tour to learn about and Canadian music in all of its forms, and be inspired by the power of music to nourish the soul and bring communities together.

studio bell

You’ll be treated to roaming performances and pop-up instrument show-and-tells, and you might even score a demonstration of the impressive Kimball Theatre Organ! You’ll definitely need to try your hand at the theremin, which might just be the most COVID-proof instrument around. For those of you who don’t know, a theremin is an electronic instrument that’s controlled without physical contact!

During your experience at Studio Bell, your eyes will be just as delighted as your minds and your ears. Only because it is undoubtedly one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in Canada, after all. So make sure your cameras and phones are charged, because there won’t be any shortage of photo ops during your trip. And make sure to carve out time during your visit to check out the newly updated Speak Up exhibition. Celebrating 13 powerful Indigenous voices in music, this is one exhibition you won’t want to miss!

On your way out, stop by the NMC Gift Shop to check out locally made music-inspired gifts and local art. With Christmas on the way, supporting local should be at the top of your to-do list, and this is a great way to make good on that.

That’s it for now folks, happy exploring!

Studio Bell – Home of the National Music Centre

Where: 850 4 St SE