Affectionately known as the 'King Eddy', the King Edward Hotel was built in phases between 1905 and 1910 and is the second oldest hotel building in Calgary. The earliest, three-storey section of the hotel was built in 1905 and is typical of early twentieth century design and construction in pioneer-era Alberta. The five-storey section of the hotel was constructed in phases in 1907, 1909 and 1910 and is characterized by its solid larger scale and differentiated detailing. Like many early Calgary buildings, the King Edward displays sandstone detailing, most of which was quarried locally.
In the early 1980's, the King Eddy became one of Canada's first blues bars, proclaiming itself 'Home of the Blues' and gaining a national reputation. Legendary blues musicians such as BB King, John Hammond, Pinetop Perkins and Otis Rush performed at the King Edward during this time, as well as rock star Bryan Adams. When the King Edward closed its doors in 2004, the hotel was considered to be Canada's oldest blues bar.
In May 2008, Cantos Music Foundation was selected through a competitive process to work with CMLC on the King Eddy rejuvenation project. The Cantos vision is to turn the King Eddy into the National Music Centre (NMC). Last year, the hotel was cleaned of all asbestos and debris and the facelift continues this year. Construction of the NMC will begin in fall 2012, with the first phase opening in 2014.
Check back often for more project updates. For more information on the NMC, visit www.nmc.ca.