Canadian Music Centre: Supporting Contemporary Classical Composers in Canada


Being a contemporary classical composer is hard. Traditional composers like Mozart and Vivaldi get all the glory (despite being long in the grave), and most of the jobs for classical composers these days go to film & TV scoring rather than creating stand-alone works.  So where do our Canadian contemporary composers go in order to feel like they have a home?

Enter the Canadian Music Centre. The CMC is the National hub for all things contemporary classical.  With regional offices all across Canada, they exist “to promote the works of its Associate Composers in Canada and around the world.”

One of the most effective ways to promote works of Canadian composers is one of the simplest: make them available to performers. Boasting over 21,000 scores, the CMC nurtures and facilitates performances of Canadian composers not just across Canada, but globally, by providing the scores on a loan basis free of charge for up to 2 months, anywhere in the world.

It’s not just a lending library, though.  The CMC also sells scores, provides consultation on repertoires, holds local events, features classical composers on their website, and more.

If that weren’t enough, the CMC also acts as an online retailer for classical composition recordings, both for independent artists and for artists signed to the CMCs own label, Centrediscs. The recordings are available for sale at their National Office in Toronto, as well as through the mail, and digital versions are available through iTunes, Amazon, and other retailers.

Most importantly, though, the CMC gives classical composers in Canada a place to have their work appreciated, promoted, lent, rented, and sold, all while fostering a community and promoting the genre as a whole.

If it seems like the Canadian Music Centre does a lot of things, well, they do.  And they do it well. With their associate composers nabbing 5 Juno wins & 30 nominations over the past quarter of a century, it’s clear that their passion and hard work is essential to the success of this oft-forgotten niche of the music industry of Canada.

To learn more about the Canadian Music Centre, or to join as an Associate Composer, visit their website, or find them on Twitter and Facebook.

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Scott Honsberger is the founder of Your Band’s Best Friend, which offers education, information, and insight on the music industry in a one-on-one consultation setting.