Edmonton’s music scene is bright and vibrant. Although, it’s not as prominent as Vancouver or Toronto, Edmonton is a hub for music of all genres. Taking Edmonton’s music into their digital archives, the University of Alberta and The Edmonton Public Library each have collections of local music from Edmonton artists. Through the Edmonton Music Collection, and Capital City Records, respectively, Edmonton artists are locally promoted.
Starting in 2011, this collection, Edmonton Music Collection, had the focus to bring Edmonton music into a larger field of music academia. Sean Luyk the Digital Projects Librarian at The University of Alberta, was the music librarian at the time and noticed quite a lot of global works in their music library without focusing on the music right in Edmonton. This left quite a gap in the academic resources. At the UofA, their collection is an extension of their academia with several scores, recordings, videos, and so much more.
“If somebody is writing a research paper about an inch in music between 1995 and 2005 it’s it’s hard to find the specifics for it,” Lyuk explains continues.
In partnership with CKUA radio, New Music Edmonton, Folkways Alive, Edmonton Music Awards, and Yeg Live, the UofA collects different pieces to commemorate and celebrate Edmonton’s music industry.
Launching in 2015, Capital City Records is a digital collection of Edmonton’s local musicians and is the first of it’s kind within Edmonton Public Library system. Although different from the University collection, they are very similar as they are both hyper local music collections. However, they have one major difference. The UofA is focusing on the academic aspect, while the CCR is focusing on the community aspect.
“Growing up, EPL was an essential part of my musical upbringing. Weekly visits to the Downtown branch, plus working at Woodcroft for my high school years yielded constant new discoveries. I’d spend hours flipping through the records. I’m excited that something I’ve helped create could now be enjoyed via Capital City Records. There’s a crazy amount of great music produced right here in YEG that’s waiting to be discovered!” comments Bombproof Horses, a band within the CCR’s collection.
There are currently 269 albums by 233 different artists with a total of 2,277 tracks on the platform with 100 new albums being added annually. This is not just a mere collection. In fact, it’s meant to be easily interactive, as an easy way for Edmontonians to enjoy and interact with the work of their fellow Edmonton musicians. There is an average of 1,047 streams, and 155 downloads per month.
Each submission brought into the collection was curated by the music scene of Edmonton itself. The jury that approves the submissions are made up of members of the local music community. This is done to not only improve upon the quality of the curation but to ensure a diverse and inclusive collection. This jury includes Lori Gawryluik (Artistic Director of Quarters Arts Society), Chad Brunet (Program Director of CJSR), Sandra Sperounes (Music Writer for the Edmonton Journal), Chris Wynters (Executive Director of Alberta Music), Ron Walker (Executive Director of Canadian Native friendship Centre), and Jesse Toms (Edmonton Muse CEO).
These are two hyper local music collections, which means that they are exclusively collections meant to bring awareness and attention the the Edmonton music industry. The importance of this is to showcase the music right here.
“Edmonton has an astounding and very diverse local music scene, and even though I am an active part of it, I am constantly surprised to discover voices that I have yet to encounter. I am very proud that my music has been included in the latest Capital City Records collection; where I can continue to explore our city’s rich music scene, and where these voices can be heard and discovered from almost anywhere in the world,” comments John Guliak, a musician on CCR.
“We sometimes forget what’s going on culturally in our own cities,” Lyuk explains.