In the beginning, there was music.
Over its 40-year history, the Music Gallery has been many things to many people. When it was founded in 1976 by Peter Anson and Al Mattes, it quickly became a hub for collaboration, creative exploration and musical performance. The artists who came were sonic adventurers, mad musical scientists, drawing from many traditions and even inventing some of their own. Their approach to musical innovation and the resulting legacy of their creations lives on in the Music Gallery and its activities today.
From those early days as an artist-run centre, the Music Gallery has led a truly remarkable journey. We have hosted extraordinary international residencies. We have held festivals. We helped introduce Musicworks—a magazine devoted to promoting experimental music—and ran Music Gallery Editions—a record label that published recordings from our live performances as well as collections of Iroquois and Inuit music, folk music from Tadoussac, Quebec, and some of the earliest recordings of whale song.
We have been a concert hall, a workshop, a recording studio and a clubhouse. And at times we have struggled—for a season, we were homeless. At least twice, financial troubles nearly destroyed us. Through the ups and downs, through successes and failures—throughout four wild decades—the Music Gallery never lost its commitment to the music and the artists who make it.
In the photo (left to right): Peter Anson, Michael Snow, Casey Sokol, Nobuo Kubota, Bill Smith, Graham Coughtry, Alan Mattes, Larry Dubin.