Now Hear This Music Festival

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We’ve had so much talent showcased on our stage lately… and the wave continues with the “Now Hear This Musical Festival” making an appearance at Studio96, Thursday March 22nd.

The Now Hear This Festival is presented by New Music Edmonton: the city’s foremost organization promoting Canadian composers and producing some of the region’s best new music concerts. Now in its third decade of operations, New Music Edmonton is committed to bringing its audiences the widest possible spectrum of musical and sonic art practices. The Now Hear This Festival is one of their masterpieces.

From March 21st – March 24th, come experience 5 days of a broad spectrum of mesmerizing soundscapes, showcased at various venues throughout the city. This gives you the opportunity to take a musical journey through different styles, while enjoying the unique ambience that each of these venues has to offer.

Here is the completely schedule of sound and sound-related arts, including classical composition, electronic music, improvisation, and cross-disciplinary performance:

Wednesday, March 21st:

12:10pm: Holy Trinity Edmonton Anglican Church, 10037 84 Ave NW
Catherine Lee Catherine Lee, Chenoa Anderson, and Allison Balcetis performing works by Thierry Alla, Dorothy Chang, Coreen Morsink, Jordan Nobles, Pauline Oliveros, and Kirsten Soriano Broberg
*Admission By Donation

Thursday, March 22nd:
12:00 pm: City Hall, 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square
The Now Hear This City Hall Players performing Earth Ears: A Sonic Ritual – by Pauline Oliveros
* Free Admission

7:30pm: Studio96, 10909 96 St NW
Don Berner Trio featuring Nico Arnáez performing Tapestry

9:30pm: Studio96, 10909
Live Mix I:
@Gel Nails MusicGel Nails performing Under The Sea
Tab CA and Ocra (Myles Bartel) performing Moonbathers

Friday, March 23rd:
7:30pm: Holy Trinity Edmonton Anglican Church, 10037 84 Ave NW
The Kagelian Ensemble and The Vaughan String Quartet with Miguel Bellusci performing Windrose – works by Mauricio Kagel, Nico Arnáez, and Miguel Bellusci

9:30pm: Holy Trinity Edmonton Anglican Church, 10037 84 Av
Listening Lounge I
A relaxed gathering space for festival-goers to relax and enjoy the festival in a unique way. You can meet some of the festival artists, look at scores and other artifacts, and enjoy refreshments and discussion.
* Free Admission

Saturday, March 24th
2pm:  Holy Trinity Edmonton Anglican Church, 10037 84 Ave NW
Catherine Lee performing Social Sounds – works by Dorothy Chang, Catherine Lee, Jérôme Blais, Dana Reason, Taylor Brook, Emily Doolittle

3:30pm: Holy Trinity Edmonton Anglican Church, 10037 84 Ave NW
Listening Lounge II
Mixer for festival artists and audience members.
* Free Admission

7:30pm: Holy Trinity Edmonton Anglican Church, 10037 84 Ave NW
Swell/Burrell/Segger Trio performing Trio in Trinity -by Steve Swell / Dave Burrell / Mark Segger

9:30pm: Holy Trinity Edmonton Anglican Church, 10037 84 Ave NW
Live Mix II:
Ryan Hemphill performing Overfill Underground
blablaTrains performing blablaOdyssey_3

Sunday, March 25th
11am: Strathcona Community League, 10139 87 Ave NW
Workshop with blablaTrains
blablaTrains will be talking about the way they conceived Human-Computer Interaction with their respective gestural interfaces.
**Audience members that want to volunteer for an activity are encouraged to bring their own musical instruments!

2pm: Yardbird Suite, 10203 86 Ave NW
UltraViolet performing Rise Up Singing – works by Alice Ho, Erin Rogers, Bernhard Lang, Douglas W. Hoyer, and Emily Casavant

3:30 p.m. – Yardbird Suite, 10203 86 Ave NW
We cordially invite you to stay for a while after the last notes are played by UltraViolet. Refreshments will be plentiful and it will be a great chance to talk to artists and friends old and new.

For tickets and further information, please visit our Eventbrite page. If the cost of admission is an issue, please email and we can work out a solution.

This 5-day Festival represents a rich and colorful display of various of cutting edge new music. Come enjoy some of these events and take advantage of the creative powerhouse of talent streaming throughout our city, featuring avant-garde underground music that you may not otherwise encounter.

Have you not yet visited Studio96? This Thursday provides a perfect opportunity. Edmonton’s Don Berner Trio will appear at 730pm, with Argentinian-Canadian composer and sound artist Nicolás Arnáez for a “combination of straight ahead and free form jazz, dance, electronic, electroacoustic and chamber music.” Come vibe-out to these transcendent sounds, in the atmosphere of a historic church converted into a contemporary event space. A mingling of the old and the new,  just like the music presented.

In an article from the Edmonton Journal on March 17th 2018, New Music Edmonton Director Ian Crutchley states:

“I think that out festival has changed every year, and we feel particularly excited about this one — the sheer variety of the types of music is a promising outlook for the future for us. If you come to one show, you will find you will want to explore more!”

We at Studio96 are very excited to host an evening of this Festival. See you Thursday!

An Afternoon at the Opera

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For the next two Sundays, Studio96 will transform into 1920s Paris, complete with glamorous costumes, dancing, glorious operatic singing, and a story wrought with drama, heartbreak, and raw emotion.

Come join us for an Afternoon at the Opera!

Sunday March 4th and Sunday March 11th, 3pm (Doors open at 230pm)

Admission BY DONATION (suggested $25 adults. $15 Students/Seniors)
Mercury Opera presents: “La Traviata,” Verdi’s opera piece featuring a  stunning courtesan Violetta who captures the heart of Alfredo. The lovers run away together and live happily for months, in bliss. Until there is a twist of events. Alfredo’s father Giorgio appears begging Violetta to leave Alfredo for the sake of their family’s honor. From there, heartbreak and tragedy ensue.

We had a chance to speak with Darcia Parada, Executive and Artistic Director of Mercury Opera. Darcia started singing at age 9, and that expanded into a successful operatic performance career. Later she delved into directing and producing. Mercury Opera was launched in New York City in 1999.

Darcia shares her thoughts about Opera: “I love opera because it is performance on the highest level, a skill equal to that of an Olympian gymnast, and combines classical music, theatre and often dance.  It is, historically speaking, the precursor to cinema, which also combines all these elements.”

Darcia shares why she chose Studio96 (and also Chez Pierre Cabaret) for this performance: “With conventional opera the audience is distanced from the performers. In utilizing tighter spaces, as in the case of our chosen venues, we are creating a more intimate experience for our audience – in essence like a ‘close up'”.

For the next two Sundays at Studio96 Darcia states, “the music and story will transport the audience to extreme heights of emotion, sadness, joy, despair.”

The audience can also expect to see glamorous and elaborate costumes, and even dancing, reflecting what was known in France as the “crazy years”– the time of fertile social, artistic and cultural collaborations. Referred to as the “Roaring Twenties” or the “Jazz Age” in North America.

The audience is even invited to dress up in roaring 20s attire – to fit the mood and ambience of the afternoon.

You can even make a whole day of it!

Joining in on the festivities are the Italian Centre’s Spinelli Bar Italia (10878 – 96ST) featuring Opera Day specials of pizza and a glass of wine/beer for $15. Or a slice of lasagna and glass of wine/beer for $9.98.

There will even be a special accordion serenade by Umberto Cerminara from 12 – 2pm.

A postlude opera dinner special can be had at OTTO (11405 – 95ST) where their signature La Traviata French/Italian theme combines Italian Sausage with Frites  for $10. Or $15 with a glass of French or Italian wine.

Enjoy an inspiring Sunday matinee performance rich with extraordinary talent…. while enjoying some of the special delicacies Church St area has to offer.

Mercury Opera is proud to be celebrating their 10th anniversary here in Edmonton. Their next production is a tri-partite co-production with Opera Classica Europa and the Badlands Amphitheatre, presenting Carmen en plein-air August 4th 2018. Tickets for Carmen are on sale now at

We are so excited to offer these matinee performances at Studio96 BY DONATION, making it accessible to everyone. To reserve your seat and for more information, including the dates and time of the evening performances at the Chez Pierre Cabaret visit :

The Rack

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This Saturday November 4th, 2017, Studio96 presents a new experience in shopping. The RACK is the inspired creation of Studio Manager Diana Harrison. As one of the original Founders of Studio96, Diana has a knack for scoping out new possibilities. She once saw a historic-church-ordered-for-demolition as a potentially vibrant community event space. Now, here we are today, in a beautiful event space, sharing happenings like “The RACK.”

The RACK will feature a day of “swapping and shopping”, with some special treats like a FREE BRUNCH, a silent auction, door prizes, and local artisan vendors. A wonderful way to spend an afternoon: hanging out with other women in a gorgeous ambience, sharing a meal, shopping, and going home with some new treasures.

Diana was inspired to launch The RACK after watching a Netflix documentary called “True Cost”–revealing the destructive and wasteful nature of the fashion industry. Diana intuitively knew there was a more empowering, environmentally-conscious, and friendlier way to shop. So, with the guiding principle: “SWAPPING IS THE NEW SHOPPING,” Diana teamed up with another local creative powerhouse – Naomi Pahl – and together they launched The RACK. If Saturday proves to be a success, this is an event they plan to continue and develop.

The process of The RACK is simple.

Every Wednesday evening, drop off your gently used clothing at Studio96 (10909 – 96ST). This week, clothing drop-off hours have been extended to:

Wednesday November 1st: Noon – 8pm

Thursday November 2nd: 10am – 7pm

(Note: No clothing drop-offs will be accepted at-door the day of THE RACK.)

The items are then assessed by label, condition, and style – and given a ticket value. For example: Basic “fast fashion” (ie: Joe Fresh) clothing earns 1 ticket. Higher end “fast fashion” (ie: Gap) merits 2 blue tickets.  Name brand & boutique items get 3 blue tickets. While high-end items earn the golden ticket (worth 5 blue tickets).

Donors will then be emailed the total amount of earned tickets from their clothing contributions.

Pick-up your tickets at Saturday November 4th (10am – 4pm) at the door.

Use your tickets to Shop, shop, shop!

Go home with a new wardrobe… and a smile.

If you can’t make it to a  drop-off, OR if you don’t have any extra clothing to spare…. No worries, come anyways! Everyone is welcome – and you can even buy tickets to shop for $1/each. An empowering and economical way to shop – that will open you up to a world of treasures.

This will be a fun day at Studio96 – an afternoon of community, inspiring women to take control of their budget and shopping experience, share a meal, and just be together.

In the spirit of generosity, all left-over items will be donated to a local women’s shelter. A win-win for everyone. See you Saturday.

New Music Edmonton

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It’s always such a joy and an inspiration to have the soundscapes of vibrant musical talent filling the Grand Hall of Studio96. This once historic church — now a contemporary event space–offers a beautiful ambience, intimate stage, and impeccable acoustics to showcase the talent that comes through this city.

We are excited to kick off our Fall season with a concert event presented by New Music Edmonton. ENTER STAGE: Mr Ho’s Orchestrotica Quintet, this Thursday October 19th, 2017, 730pm. This concert will feature a multi-colored inter-weaving of jazz, chamber music adaptations of mid-century exotica and pop art, and a few original compositions — a mix of music like you’ve never heard before. Layer in some Bach, Gershwin, Shostakovich, and John Adams adaptations, and you’ve got yourself Mr Ho’s Orchestrotica. In other words, this alluring soundscape contains something for everyone. You will be sure to find something that speaks to your  musical tastes. Some of the unique array of instruments include: bass flute, acoustic bass, vibes and frame drums, tanbur, oud, shakuhachi, and resonator guitar.

For a taste of the magic that awaits you on Thursday, check out a vid clip of the band:

This concert is presented by New Music Edmonton – the city’s premier organization of the promotion and presentation of contemporary music and sound-related arts. Now in its third decade of operations, New Music Edmonton its audience the widest possible spectrum of musical and sonic art practices. We are lucky to have an organization promoting the development of a wide range of creative arts and talent in our city.

Thank you, New Music Edmonton, for bringing such inspiring musical talent to Studio96 on October 19th.

Tickets range between $15 – $25 and can be purchased here:

Alchemy: A Night of Poetry & Classical Music

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It’s a true gift to be able to weave words together—in a way that stirs the soul, that encapsulates the meaning of life, that serves as a transmitter of love and truth, that evokes and provokes. Poetry, music, and artful expressions bring us out of our cerebral world of thought, and into our heart–the source of raw feeling and emotion. Poetry and music work upon us in a magical alchemy, opening new doors within.

This Saturday August 19th @ 730pm we are fortunate to have two supremely talented Spoken Word Artists and one Musician – grace the Studio96 stage. They will share a riveting performance called “ALCHEMY: A Night of Poetry & Classical Music.” This will be an evening that celebrates the power, humanity, and passion of spoken word poetry. The event is open to everyone. Tickets are only $15, or pay what you can (no one will be excluded for lack of funds).  Purchase your tickets here:

One of the evening’s Presenters, Titilope Sonuga is an Award-winning Poet, Writer and Performer who has graced stages across Nigeria and internationally. She was the winner of the 2011 Canadian Authors’ Association Emerging Writer Award for her first collection of poems, Down To Earth.

In this TedX talk, Titilope shares her background and her glorious spoken word medicine:

Brandon Wint is a Poet, Spoken Word Artist and Teacher who is devoted to the articulation of the beauty within the human condition. His intricately-rendered performance pieces present a passionate, sincere and whimsical version of humanity. His writing, performance, and pedagogical approach all affirm, in their different ways, that there is beauty to be found in the struggle, and solace to be found in sincerity-of-spirit. He is a two-time national champion slam poet, a nationally published writer, as well as arts-educator and curator of artistic events.
The spoken word will be intermingled with music from Rebecca Parsons, a passionate advocate of accessibility in classical music. She works to present the music she loves in a way that demonstrates relevance and importance to both students and listeners.

We had the opportunity to ask Brandon some questions about his poetic expressions. His replies were rich and inspiring:

Q: What are some of the common themes found in your poetry?

A: My poetry endeavours to reflect my pursuit of love and honesty in the world. In writing, that can look and sound many different ways. However, I would say that themes of LOVE, in a universal sense, are common to many of my poems. For my sake and for the sake of the reader or listener, my goal in my poetry is to represent honestly represent my spiritual, emotional, social and intellectual position(s) in the world. In my understanding, it is impossible to tell the complete truth without implicating love somehow in my words. Therefore, many of my poems have a quality of loveliness about them.
The act of writing poetry is also a way of reckoning with my desires, my moments of loneliness, and generally, my enduring desire for connection, intimacy and authenticity.

Q: What inspires you to write?

A: I write as a way of creating a place for myself in the world. I write in order to assess and express my understanding of life. I write poems in order to express what I see as the intersections between Divine truth and human truth. I write because I am inclined towards beauty, and poetry-writing helps me refine the lens through which I receive the beauty of the world. I write to generate intimacy, to create conversation with myself, and I perform to express my authentic personal power, my joy, and my desire to love.

Q: In your eyes, what is the meaning and value of art & poetry?

A: Poetry, like all forms of artistry, has the function of reminding people about the depth. vulnerability, sensitivity and strength that is possible within the human condition. Poetry exists as a way to share (and therefore deepen) our understanding of the human condition. The role of poetry is to make the nuanced beauty/complexity/rigour of humanity inescapable for the listener or reader. Poetry, therefore, broadens the reach and impact of empathy. Poetry exercises the empathy of its readers and listeners. A poet who writes with deep empathy serves their reader in this way.

Q: What can people expect from “Alchemy” on Saturday?

A: People can expect generosity. I think what myself, Titilope and Rebecca each have in common as human beings and artists is empathy and generosity-of-spirit. Each of us understands that our roles as artists is mostly to serve the spiritual virtue and strength within the people who receive the art. In this way, I think people can expect to feel held, considered, accounted for, through our acts of performance. People can expect to receive poetry that is meaningfully grounded in humanity. People can expect to be moved inside their hearts. I believe people will feel well taken care of. The space will be overwhelmingly generous and very human.

Join us this Saturday at Studio96 @ 730pm, for this inspiring outpouring of generosity-of-spirit from these talented artists.

C’mon Festival 2017: A Musical Journey

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Recently Studio 96 was transformed into a entrance-point for a melodic journey of exquisite music mingled with song…. as we hosted the 5th annual C’mon Festival (Chamber Music Old and New).

Throughout the past 5 years, the C’mon Festival has brought together a talented ensemble of musicians and performers, such  as the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, the Edmonton Citie Ballet, special guest Sopranos and Tenors, Singers & Songwriters, and more, to create a montage of wondrous, genre-blurring classical music, linking the past to the future.

The splendid acoustics of Studio 96, the ambient lighting, and towering high ceilings, provide the perfect environment to sit back and listen…. while being transported on an inner journey through a spectrum of soundscapes.

This year, the 3-day event featured three different themes: Friday’s event featured “Serenade to Little Italy”: a celebration of all things Italian, from opera to the movies, with guests Soprano Janet Smith and Andrea Pinna, Tenor. Saturday was “Sonic Wonders”, featuring unique boundary-pushing, genre-blurring soundscapes from around the world. The show was brought to an ecstatic crescendo with “Musical Rides”, an eclectic odyssey with special guest Singer/Songwriter Andrea House.

Artistic Director Kathryn Macintosh captures the essence of the C’mon Festival: “Music is such a powerful expression of our shared humanity: provocative, moving, and/or good clean fun. That’s the balanced recipe we’re aiming for in festival programming. The genres continue to blur; I’m very excited about freshly discovered composers, as well as new arrangements commissioned for the C’mon Ensemble this year. The hijinks continue!”

Music has a special way of bringing together all different cultures, languages, genres, backgrounds, and walks of life. It takes you out of the world of thinking–and into the world of feeling.  In the inspiring ambience of Studio 96 – we were led through the range of human emotions: from the deeply touching, sometimes mournful sounds of the violin; to the light, lively, and ecstatic mixes of percussion and clarinet; held against the guttural depth of the upright bass and bassoon. When combined with the precious instrument of the human voice– a medley is created that reaches deep into the heart. Soprano Janet Smith was flawless in her operatic performances; while Tenor Andrea Pinna belted out rich and powerful notes. Singer Andrea House’s raw singing reaches the depth of human emotion. This is just a little peek into the array of flavors that touched our palette during this year’s C’mon Festival.

C’mon Festival attendee, Barbara Phillips shared a beautiful testimonial:

“I went to all 3 concerts and was deeply inspired. You rarely get the chance to hear such fine musicians play such interesting music. It really doesn’t matter what your musical preferences are. If you truly listen–it really teaches you.

The classical night (Friday) was music from mostly Italian composers. Opera Singer Janet Smith, so beautifully embodied the roles she sang– the audience was transported. The last number included a magical tenor appearing from the audience so cleverly. His voice was everything you ever wanted in an Italian tenor.

Andrea House also appeared. Her humility shines and so enhances her artistry as a singer and composer. Stunning? Absolutely.

Studio 96 is magical for such an experience – beautiful, intimate and inspiring. Mark your July calendars next year to be sure to attend. It takes you into such deep listening.”

It’s always a treat to support the local artistic community, with events open for the general public to enjoy. This event was graciously offered by donation – “pay what you can.” Warm thanks to the C’mon festival for making the event so accessible to everyone!

We look forward to C’mon Festival 2018, as well as more moving performances gracing the Studio 96 stage.


Studio96… Where Magic Happens

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Welcome to our Studio96 Blog: “Where Magic Happens”!

We have so many wonderful events and developments happening. This is our space to share about them, and give you a peek into our world.
These past few years have been a time of prolific growth and development.
You may have heard our story before.
Studio96 was once St Stephen’s Anglican Church–a historic landmark in the McCauley District. Like many old buildings, it was ordered for demolition.  Luckily, that wasn’t the end of the story. In a flash of inspiration, two Architects and an Event Planner came together with a vision. They combined their complimentary skills and creative synergy. Thus, Studio96 was born. A beautiful and inspiring event space–for both private and public happenings.
So often people are quick to tear down old structures. In Studio96, we found a way to preserve the old, intermingled with the new. Studio96 is testament of what can happen when creativity and a vision join together. Since then, we have went through many growing pains, and many wonderful becomings.

One of our favourite facets of the event space are the special Wedding packages we offer. It’s so meaningful to be with people on one of the most special day of their lives… helping them create and craft every detail, to make their dream wedding come true. We believe: there’s so much value in the little things. Our Event Coordinator adds her unique personal touch to each event, assisting in weaving together all the details, to create a meaningful tapestry. We’ve had the privilege of witnessing so many beautiful unions the past few years. What an honour!

We also especially love hosting and supporting community events. The city of Edmonton is burgeoning with vibrant talent. We provide an inspiring venue for the whole gamut of creative expression… from live music of all genres… theatrical performances, dance, ballet, , and festivals. Since our inception, we’ve had the honour of hosting so many wonderful events: from the Winter Warmer concert series, to the C’mon Festival (Chamber Music New and Old), Edmonton City Ballet,  Edmonton Poetry Festival, the Kokopelli Choir Crawl, Pro Coro Choir … and the list goes on.
In our upcoming Blogs we will be profiling some of these past events. We will also offer a sneak-peek into some of our future events. We hope you will take the opportunity to attend one of our community events …. check out the Studio…. and enjoy some local talent.
Or, maybe you have an event of your own you are thinking of putting on. Give us a call 780.428.8450.
Also, if you’ve never been in Studio96 you can take a peek from the comfort of your chair. Go to our home page– scroll down –and enter our virtual tour.
Whether you are hosting an event, or attending an event here in our space, one thing is for sure: Studio96 inspires.
Thanks for visiting. 🙂
(**Note: Blog banner photo of Northern Lights by Jens Gaethje. Visit his website: or Facebook page: @Jensgaethjephotography)