Anne Murray Centre goes national

Christopher Gooding
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SPRINGHILL – The Anne Murray Centre entered a formal partnership with the National Music Centre, making way for a three-year opportunity to raise the profile of the NMC in Atlantic Canada while adding musical education projects to the local area.

The National Music Centre will bring Canada’s rich musical cultural history to Springhill, where the Anne Murray Centre will play as the staging ground for exhibits and education for the Atlantic region. NMC’s President and CEO Andrew Mosker made the announcement Tuesday with Anne Murray and Marcie Meekins, the Anne Murray Centre’s Executive Director who will take a lead in developing the local community programs.

The education and community programs development for Nova Scotia will be handled by the Anne Murray Centre and NMC will provide travelling exhibits and programs to bolster the partnership.

Music is so important in the lives of children,” Anne Murray said. Too often they are not exposed to it at a young age and I believe that is essential for their development and growth into well-rounded adults.”

Like many tourism-based centres and businesses, the Anne Murray Centre hasn’t been immune to an industry decline in recent years. The partnership, Murray said, is an opportunity for the centre to expand its mandate to promote local art and culture in ways never thought of when the centre was built more than two decades ago.

“We have to find new directions, you have to reinvent yourself, find new ways to stay alive. As you know tourism is down for the last few years. It’s a tough go. It’s a hard fight and this has been just a wonderful boon for the Anne Murray Centre to take us to new places I never dreamed,” Murray said.

As the NMC’s first partner to promote Atlantic Canadian music, urban centres like Halifax or Sydney would seem the heir-apparent for the role announced today, but Murray says a lot of the credit for Springhill securing the agreement goes to the staff of the Anne Murray Centre.

“We can thank Marcie Meekins for that but she’s agreed to take that on. We needed someone at the helm and she’s our girl,” Murray said.  

Partnering with the Anne Murray Centre, NMC President and CEO Andrew Mosker said, marked a significant milestone for the national centre.

“We decided we wanted to work in Springhill because of Anne Murray and because the centre has been here for almost 25-years.  It represents a very broad story of music in Nova Scotia and Canada,” Mosker said.

Part of the NMC mandate is to build exhibits around Canadian music and travel them, Mosker said. With partnerships like the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, the exhibits will expand music history and knowledge across the country while providing new reasons to visit Springhill.

“The Anne Murray Centre, because of its existing education programs, we felt it was a good place to start to build space for new education program,” Mosker said. “We have a lot of experience with that, as a partner. So, we have the experience. They have the space well known in the region so it’s a win, win.”

In Februray, in Calgary’s East Village, NMC broke ground on a new $135 million building which will house the Canadian hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Murray was one of the guests at the event and spoke about the need for Canadian to have a home for music that showcases musical history and achievements.

Organizations: Anne Murray Centre, NMC, Canadian Music Hall

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Springhill, Country Music Hall Halifax Sydney Canada Februray Calgary East Village

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