Would Radiohead still sound as cool if they had kept their original name - On A Friday? I have my doubts. Sure the music could very well have sounded the same, but the expectations of this band would have been completely different. Instead of thinking that we were going to hear the deep thoughts of some savvy souls channeling a twisted Talking Heads sensibility, we might very well have expected to hear the whinging of middle school lads who didn't want to prepare for a maths exam. Names are important.
With the Cantos Music Foundation making the switch to the National Music Centre, the opportunity is ripe to clarify the image, to present a fresh face to the music community and to Canadians in general. Not that there was anything wrong with the name Cantos Music Foundation. But it does conjure up a certain image that is perhaps not really in keeping with the reality of the organization.
The Cantos part of the name gives the impression of a staid institution dedicated to classical endeavours, or perhaps the poetry of Ezra Pound. The Foundation part of the name corroborates that impression.
Of course anybody who has ever visited Cantos Music Foundation/National Music Centre knows that there is so much more. Regular events like Blue Mondays, First Thursdays, Music@Noon, and public tours of that incredible collection are just some of the events that showcase what a dynamic institution this truly is.
Such widely-ranging activities make for a very full slate. All that fullness needs a more expansive name to contain all the parts. A name like the National Music Centre.