Name and where are you based?
Andrew Mosker, based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Tell us a bit about yourself and career leading you to where you are now?
Originally, from Montréal, Québec and have been living in Calgary, Alberta for over twenty-years. I’m a musician and historian by training and got involved in the music industry in my early twenties as a campus radio announcer and live-music promoter while still an undergraduate student at Concordia University in Montréal in the late 1980s/early 1990s. I’ve always been fascinated with music and placemaking. Specifically, why and how do music and place come together to create identity in a given place. After a brief stint in the restaurant and hotel sectors, I decided jump full-time into the music business over twenty-five years ago and got my opportunity to work for a classical music festival, based in Calgary. One opportunity lead to another and I received an opportunity to be part of a team that created a new musical instrument museum of keyboard and electronic instruments called Cantos Music Foundation with funding provided primarily through philanthropy beginning in late 1998. After developing and launching “Cantos”, I shared an idea and plan with the then Board of Directors in 2005 to re-invent Cantos Music Foundation as a museum of Canada’s musical story complete with a series of public, education and artist programs that also included being a live music presenter and an incubator of new music, talent, re-branded as the National Music Centre of Canada. We launched the new vision in early 2007 and opened the National Music Centre on July 1st, 2016 in a newly purpose built building. The path that has lead me here as always been and continues to be having a curiosity for all genres of music and how music inspires and brings people together from so many different cultural backgrounds.
Tell us a bit about your current job and company?
Currently, I’m the President & CEO of National Music Centre, located at Studio Bell, in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
How is your work &/or company contributing to the development of your city as a music city?
My work through National Music Centre in Calgary co-founded the music cities movement called the Alberta Music Cities Movement in 2014. We were inspired by what other places were doing around the world with regard to music city development at the same time that the National Music Centre was under construction. We helped start the conversation in 2014 about the opportunity of creating a music cities network in Alberta. Today, we work closely with civic partners, venues, recording studios, artists, foundations and many others within our provincial music ecosystem regarding the development of music city (ies) through a variety of collaborative initiatives. As an off shoot of launching the conversation about the potential of music cities in Alberta, we co-founded a separate non-profit organization called West Anthem with music industry professionals from across the province of Alberta which I am the founding Chair to become a non-governmental arms-length music cities advisory board of volunteers, to help provide advice to policy makers, to conduct research and to produce events.
What short &/or long term plans do you have to contribute to your city being a music city?
Six years ago, we co-founded a movement to start a conversation about the potential and opportunity of building a music cities network by non-governmental advisory group in Alberta. We also published our first report, called Fertile Ground which created a framework for developing the conditions for which a music city network in the province of Alberta could evolve. Recently, we created and launched a new non-profit organization called West Anthem as a provincial non-governmental advisory group that advises policy makers, funds research and produces events. In short term, our plans have included the commissioning of a landmark economic profile report about the ecosystem of Alberta’s music sector complete with statistics and recommendations for moving it forward. This report is now complete and will be launched in fall 2020. As a follow up to the report, our medium and long-term plans included implementing recommendations from the new report as well as hosting the first ever Music Cities Conference in Alberta in fall 2021. This conference will further the dialogue that has already begun and highlight opportunities for developing the music industry as the province of Alberta begins to seriously consider ways in which it can diversify the economy. Our long-term plans are to establish West Anthem as a credible provincial advisory voice for music that advises governments, civic agencies as well as others within the ecosystem regarding the development and implementation of music city policy (ies) as well continuing to produce reports and special events that promote the benefits of developing and diversifying of Alberta’s economy through music.