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The EMI Music Canada Collection and Canadian Cultural Policy

Research Focus:
This study investigates the contributions of the Canadian subsidiary of UK-based EMI Music to Canada's musical culture and industry. The research is based upon the contents of the EMI Music Canada Archive collection - a vast new archive recently acquired by the University of Calgary. EMI (and earlier, Capitol Records) was active in Canada from about 1950 until 2006. During this period, the company discovered, developed, and promoted many of Canada’s most important musical acts. These archives provide an unprecedented opportunity for detailed examination of the operations of a multinational record company in Canada. They provide considerable details about EMI Canada’s operations and a window into Canada’s cultural policy over the last 50 years.

Research Questions:
1) What role did EMI Canada (not only in its own right, but as an example of a multinational major record company) play in developing Canadian popular music and the Canadian music industry?  How did Canada fit into a wider global music strategy?

2) What resources did the company allocate to the production and promotion of Canadian music artists in the late 1970s and early 1980s?  How did Canadian cultural policy influence these decisions?

3) What is the relationship between physical infrastructure development and Canadian cultural and economic policy? To this end we have begun a study on the development of the Capitol Records pressing plant in Toronto in 1976.

This study combines Dr. Gregory Taylor’s expertise in Canadian cultural policy, working with University of Calgary archivist Robb Gilbert.  Dr. Taylor is also part of a wider provincial research team with Dr. Brian Fauteux, Assistant Professor, Department of Music at University of Alberta; and Dr. Richard Sutherland, Associate Professor in Economics, Justice, and Policy Studies at Mount Royal University.

Principal Investigator:
Dr. Gregory Taylor, Assistant Professor, Department of Communication, Media and Film (gregory.taylor2@ucalgary.ca)

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