Fonds F0119 - Music Gallery fonds

Open original Digital object

Title proper

Music Gallery fonds

General material designation

  • Textual record
  • Graphic material
  • Sound recording

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  • 1973-1998 (Creation)
    Music Gallery

Physical description

5.4 m of textual records and photographs
ca. 2,000 audio reels, cassettes and VHS stereo tapes

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Administrative history

From the entry in The Canadian Encyclopedia:
"Musician-run venue in Toronto. Established in 1976 by the CCMC, it has had two successive addresses: 1976-84 in a converted warehouse at 30 St Patrick Street and, as of October 1984, in the basement of what was originally West Toronto's first YMCA at 1087 Queen Street West. The first gallery had informal seating for about 100. The second, located in a former gymnasium, has a capacity of 125; a 'Great Hall' in the same building, with seating for 300, also has been taken over for concerts. The gallery was directed jointly 1976-80 by the CCMC's Peter Anson and Allan Mattes and solely 1980-7 by Mattes. James Montgomery assumed direction in 1987. Paul Hodge, who joined the gallery staff in 1978, has served latterly as technical director.

Averaging some 65 concerts annually by 1990, and supported by several levels of funding, the gallery has been a major forum in Toronto for the presentation of electronic music, multimedia productions, dance, contemporary jazz, and, beginning in the late 1980s, world music. It has also served as a model for similar venues elsewhere in Canada and has been an important stop in the regional, and at times national, circuit of 'alternative' concert halls.

Home through the 1980s to the CCMC, the gallery has also served as a base over the years for the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, Glass Orchestra, the Evergreen Club Gamelan Orchestra, Hemispheres, New Music Co-op, and Sound Pressure. It produced 'Ear It Live, a movable festival of improvised music mounted 1978-81 in several Ontario and Quebec centres, and was the site 1979-88 of an annual electronic music festival sponsored in turn by A Space, by the gallery itself, and by the Canadian Electroacoustic Community.

Other special events have included a month (September 1977) of concerts, workshops, and lectures in celebration of John Cage's 65th birthday, and residencies by Derek Bailey (1979), Mischa Mengelberg (1980), and Barre Phillips (1984). Under Montgomery's direction, the gallery introduced theme-based concert series, employing as guest 'curators' Alan Davis (world music), Bill Grove (jazz), John Oswald (string instruments), Rodney Sharman (Morton Feldman), and others.

The gallery operated its own record label, Music Gallery Editions (record label), 1977-81, and introduced the publication Musicworks in 1978. The label issued 27 LPs, most of them of performances at the gallery by such groups and individuals as the CCMC, the Artists' Jazz Band, the Canadian Electronic Ensemble, the Glass Orchestra, James MacDonald, Lubomyr Melnyk, David Mott, Al Neil, the Nihilist Spasm Band, John Oswald, Peggie Sampson, Casey Sokol, and Sonde. Among other Music Gallery Editions releases were collections of Iroquois and Inuit music, folk music from Tadoussac, Que, and recordings of whales. Gallery performances also have been heard on CBC radio and, beginning in 1983, on CKLN-FM's weekly 'Radio Music Gallery'.

A concert-by-concert listing of the gallery's programming and festivals 1976-85, as well as a Music Gallery Editions discography and a Musicworks index, is included in the book Decade: The First Ten Years of The Music Gallery (Toronto 1985)."

Scope and content

The fonds consists of two series, the CCMC concert series (1973-199-?) of twice-weekly public performances by members who have included Peter Anson, Paul Dutton, John Kamevaar, Nobuo Kubotu, Allen Mattes, John Oswald, Michael Snow, Casey Sokol, Jack Vorvis. The Music Gallery Concert Series (1978-1993) comprises sound recordings of approximately 65 concerts per year and has involved a wide variety of local and international performers/composers, including all varieties of new music, electroacoustics, world, and jazz. Supporting documentation includes program information, posters, reviews, and photographs. The fonds consists also of financial statements, season reports, contracts, sales reports, publicity material including press release, programs, media contact lists, clippings, photographs and other material related to the activities and the performances of The Music Gallery.

Physical condition

Immediate source of acquisition

Donated by the Music Gallery in 1996, 1999, and 2000.


Language of material

  • English

Script of material

Location of originals

The following boxes are stored off-site for preservation:
1999-008/028, 1999-008/029, 1999-008/030, 1999-008/031, 1999-008/032, 1999-008/033, 1999-008/034, 1999-008/035, 1999-008/085, 1999-008/086, 2000-039/010, 2000-039/011, 2000-039/012, 2000-039/013, 2000-039/014, 2000-039/015, 2000-039/016, 2000-039/017, 2000-039/018, 2000-039/019, 2000-039/020, 2000-039/021, 2000-039/022, 2000-039/023, 2000-039/024, 2000-039/025.

Availability of other formats

Restrictions on access

To be determined. Some sound recordings are stored off-site for preservation, and requests for access must be made in advance of your visit to the archives.

Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

Finding aids

A .pdf file list for accessions 1996-003, 1999-008 and 2000-039 is attached to this description.

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Related materials


The fonds comprises the following accessions: 1996-003, 1999-008, 2000-039. Further accruals are expected.

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Dates of creation, revision and deletion

2019/02/13 J. Grant. Creation.

Language of description

  • English

Script of description


Digital object (Master) rights area

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