Cantos Music Foundation CEO Andrew Mosker and architect Brad Cloepfil unveiled the striking design at a packed soiree at the Uptown Theatre Wednesday night. A sizable contingent of the city's music, culture, and architecture lovers milled about the Art Deco foyer of the historic theatre, noshing on deli platters and chatting above the black tee-shirted band before being ushered into the theatre proper for a break-neck paced, albeit good-natured, slide show. Despite having to forego the Wild Nothing/Braids concert on the opening night of Sled Island and despite having been given a taste of the plans at an information session at Cantos Music Foundation a month ago, I knew I also had to be present for the formal unveiling.
The National Music Centre will house performance spaces, artist in residence studios, recording studios, and exhibition spaces. The condemned King Edward hotel, which is both a historical landmark and an important piece of the city's musical history, will be restored and incorporated into the structure as a club, very much in keeping with its longtime role as a blues venue. During the design phase, acoustic engineers planned movable walls within the towers and vessels of the structure to allow for performances to be closed off into smaller spaces or to be opened to allow music to fill the entire National Music Centre.