New Music Edmonton (NME) is Edmonton’s premier organization for the promotion and presentation of contemporary music and sound-related arts. Now in its fourth decade of activities, NME's mandate is to seek out and bring to its audiences the widest possible spectrum of contemporary musical and sonic art practices while engaging with the community by way of inter-organizational collaborations and a regular program of outreach activities. We believe that our programming and outreach activities should reflect the diversity of our community and are currently entering into initiatives designed to help us reach that goal. New Music Edmonton is committed to bringing this important and growing stream of contemporary music-making to our audiences, and especially to fostering the creation of new collaborations in this area. We are excited by the inclusion of diverse artistic practices and to offer Edmonton opportunities to enjoy the many ways that the term “new music” can be used, to consider it as a dynamic and evolving area of art production, and that the fact of its contemporaneity motivates artistic production and reception that sets it apart as a distinct and exciting form of art.
History: The creation of New Music Edmonton can be credited to a group of local composers who, in 1985, at the suggestion of the late composition teacher Violet Archer, began a new series of concerts under the name, The Edmonton Composers’ Concert Society. They sought to create a forum for their compositions through public performances by committed, professional musicians from the area. Edmonton, and, in fact, Alberta, thus gained its first organization whose primary focus was the professional presentation of new music. In the decades since, what is now New Music Edmonton has built on those original ideas and evolved into an important partner in the vibrant and eclectic contemporary arts scene in Edmonton.
Currently: Live events remain our central activity, and we are dedicated to offering our audiences a unique, compelling, and increasingly diverse series of performances each season. The artists we present are largely chosen from juried, open calls and represent a stunning array of artistic practices. Chamber music, avant-jazz, noise, choral music, sound art and multidisciplinary projects have all featured prominently in recent seasons. The region’s rich community of artists, both established and emerging, remain a high priority in our programming and are complemented by visitors who are able to bring exceptional creative expressions to our city.
As partners in the community, New Music Edmonton regularly works in collaboration with other arts and community organizations in developing artistic projects and outreach initiatives. Both of these areas will play an increasing role in our activities moving forward as we develop new, locally created performances and numerous streams of outreach. We are especially focused on outreach which makes new musical experiences available to any members of our community.
Equity: New Music Edmonton’s mandate includes a commitment to representing the creative and demographic diversity of our community. We are proactive in developing programming strategies whose goal is to fulfill this aspect of our mandate. New Music Edmonton strives for equity and actively seeks out both demographic and stylistic diversity.
We recognize that treating all people equally does not guarantee fairness, but can, instead, reinforce extant biases. As such, in contributing to a reliably equitable environment in our own presentations, the arts generally, and society as a whole, we endorse and have adopted policies whose outcomes promote fair distribution of opportunities. The resultant expansion of perspectives and experiences is necessary to the fostering of a vibrant and inclusive arts community, and that benefits us all.
Canadian League of Composers Gender Parity Pledge:
New Music Edmonton pledges to achieve or maintain gender parity in our programming and commissioning by our 2022-23 season. We welcome the opportunity to add our voice to a growing international movement that acknowledges artistic choices must be representative of the gender diversity within the community of creators. We invite our audiences and the Canadian composition community to hold us accountable and encourage us in reaching our goal.