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Calgary’s National Music Centre hits high note in construction

CALGARY – History buffs could soon own a piece of the old King Eddy, an iconic hotel in Calgary’s southeast that’s being used as part of a fundraising effort for the National Music Centre (NMC) – Canada’s official home of music history featuring exhibition and performance space.

The NMC is auctioning off bricks from the hotel as its construction reaches a critical stage.

The building is designed to stand out in a crowd – a symbol of the new National Music Centre, located at 134-11 Ave. southeast.

“A grain elevator on the Prairies, or a glacier in the Rockies, or a hoodoo in Drumheller, or the colour of the Prairies – all of those inspirations have come into this architecture,” said Andrew Mosker, president and CEO of the National Music Centre.

“The building really feels like it belongs here.”

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A quarter-of-a-million unique terra cotta tiles are set to bring everything together.

“These tiles actually change shade and colour,” said Mosker.

“They are almost alive depending on where the sun is in the sky, and that has a lot to do with the programming and music that happens inside the building.”

The tiles were manufactured in Germany with glazing applied in Holland.

Inside, golden tiles will catch sun from different angles and curves, and diffuse natural light throughout much of the 160,000 square feet.

Across the skybridge, the tiles give way to historic brick – now restored – and the venerable King Eddy.

“In the case of the King Eddy, these bricks are 100 years old,” said Mosker.

“They have seen a lot of history in Calgary, and when you walk by and see them you can think about Calgary’s past and where the National Music Centre fits within the context of its future.”

There will be a grand opening in spring 2016.

Details on the King Eddy brick auction will be announced in the coming days, and the NMC will also update the project’s $168M budget.

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