By Caroline Reynolds
EDMONTON – As great as streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music can be, just how much of a local flavour are we getting out of our $9.99 monthly service fee? While it’s a uniquely heartwarming feeling to spend your hard earned riches at merch tables across the city, it’s equally as chivalrous to support your local library.
“Capital City Records is Edmonton Public Library’s first digital public space, created to celebrate Edmonton’s local music scene and its history,” explains Raquel Mann, Digital Public Spaces Librarian for the Edmonton Public Library. “The collection includes some of Edmonton’s best local music produced in the last five years.”
Artists like Switches, Concealer, Lia Cole, Josh Sahunta, Tales of the Tomb and so, so many more have contributed albums to the project, which is still very much in its infancy. The collection is currently at around 150 artists and growing by about 100 albums a year.
When BeatRoute spoke to Mann, who is also the current head for Capital City Records, one thing was evident, the intention to celebrate Edmonton’s unique identity, culture and arts remains pure.
The idea for the project started in 2014 and grew into an actualized platform the year after. Since then, the EPL has watched the local music community around Capital City Records grow. “Artists are wanting to connect with each other on CCR; they want to play together. The community aspect is huge. I think it’s something that makes Edmonton really special,” declares Mann.
The forefront goal of CCR is to provide a virtual digital sharing space of current local albums, as well as historic artifacts of Edmonton’s music history. This purpose is met by making the music accessible online, but also by hosting performances.
Capital City Records is partnering with the Starlite Room to showcase some of the various talents from the archiving program. The first show will be free to the public to promote both the EPL and its amazing program.
We want to encourage people to take advantage of this opportunity, to expose Edmonton,” Mann explained with enthusiasm.
“This city has so much musical talent and such a strong music scene. And of course the Starlite Room is a great venue.”
The concept of a makerspace may still be relatively new to some folks, but the EPL has ensured that the innovative thinking and boundary pushing technology has penetrated not only their physical spaces, but the thought behind CCR, as well.
“Libraries are moving forward with technology becoming community and creation hubs, not so much just a place you can go to borrow a book,” says Mann.
Although not directly linked as a CCR initiative, EPL has established a free and accessible recording space, furnished with software and equipment to record an album. All of the equipment is listed on the EPL website; it’s as easy as signing out a book. In addition to recording capabilities, the EPL makerspace also hosts League of Legends game nights, which is the largest free multiplayer online game. Not to mention Dungeons & Dragons, retro game nights and so much more. Most events are all ages and completely free.
“You could literally create your album for free. EPL can help do everything but actually print your vinyl records, which is something I hope one day we can do. Not only can you record, you can create all the artwork for it through the makerspace and even publish and release your album through CCR. It’s a pretty amazing thing.”
Check out the Capital City Records Winter Showcase December 9th at the Starlite Room featuring Martin Kerr, Arlo Maverick, Caleigh Cardinal and others. To download and enjoy music, all you need is a library card!Arlo Maverick, Caleigh Cardinal, Capital City Records Showcase, Edmonton Public Library, Martin Kerr, Starlite Room