A lot of Calgary’s interesting tourist attractions are either outside or involve some form of hybrid outdoors walking. Not wanting to lose all my exploration time to the relentless rain that has been pummeling (and on some occasions, flooding) Calgary since my arrival, I decided to find an indoors activity and stumbled across a music museum inside Studio Bell, home of the National Music Centre.
One of the first sections by the entrance was closed due to a special event, but the rest of the museum was open. The museum was a fairly traditional mixed-media interactive museum, with a lot of displays, lots of audiovisual material, a lot of opportunities to go hands-on, and a lot of text explaining the history and science behind the various musical topics.
There was a little section about the early 2000s in a chronological timeline that featured Avril Lavigne, which I obviously got very excited about because of how obsessed I was with her as a teenager. It’s not often that Avril Lavigne gets an entire spotlight to herself, but then I realized and remembered that it was because she is Canadian and was born in Ontario.
Unfortunately, the day that I visited happened to coincide with what appeared to be an elementary or middle school field trip, so the museum was flooded with children the entire time I was there. This was unfortunate for some of the hands-on activities, as there were always kids occupying all the stations. When I did manage to find an open station to play a guitar, the guitar was greasy… so I promptly put it down, upon which a hawk-eyed little girl swooped in and immediately took my spot.
I definitely would’ve enjoyed the museum more if I had a bit more peace and quiet to thoroughly experience everything that was available, but it was still a nice visit, and definitely something unique and uncommon when it comes to topics of museums. Admission was “pay what you can”; I paid the recommended CA$15, but if you take a visit and have unlucky timing like I did, they would let you in for free for a subsequent visit to pick up where you left off.