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National Music Centre launches Reflections: 10 Years Capturing Calgary’s Alt Music Scene on September 18



(September 2, 2021— Calgary, AB) On September 18, the National Music Centre (NMC) will launch Reflections: 10 Years Capturing Calgary’s Alt Music Scene, a new temporary exhibition featuring images by music photographer Zoltan Varadi.

For many of us, the pandemic has been a time of staying home and reflection. For Varadi, it was a period of revisiting a box of negatives amassed years ago as a music photographer in Calgary. Though some of his images were published on the pages of CJSW’s Vox Magazine, or FFWD Weekly, many have remained unseen, even by Varadi himself. Inspired by the nice surprises he discovered as he began cleaning and scanning the negatives during a year of pandemic lockdowns, Varadi is sharing his archive, knowing that it will help preserve a period of local music history and appeal to others in his community who are reflecting on the past and what comes next.

Opening in the Cloud Lounge on Studio Bell’s fifth floor, the exhibit explores the Calgary alternative music scene from 1992-2001, the period of time in which Varadi took photographs for a succession of Calgary arts and entertainment publications. Through Varadi’s engaging images and captivating, first-person storytelling, visitors to the exhibit will be transported into the crowd, onto the stage, into the record store, and onto the streets of Calgary to experience shows by local and Canadian acts. From the stages of many of Calgary’s now-defunct venues and featuring images of acts such as Forbidden Dimension, the Leslie Feist-fronted Placebo, SNFU, Sloan, Bif Naked, Bo Diddley with Steve Pineo, and many others, see the scene through the lens of a music photographer. While five of the 30 images were shown in a 2014 exhibition, 25 represent a new batch that were uncovered this past year.

“Most of the images were shot at a trio of venues that became a kind of alt-rock Bermuda Triangle, just outside of downtown Calgary—the Night Gallery at the northern tip, the Republik to the southeast, and the Ship & Anchor in the southwest,” said Varadi. It was an easy place to get lost for a decade or so.”  

“This exhibit serves as an extension of the Community Storytellers exhibition that NMC launched earlier this year, which features meaningful music stories from the Calgary community,” said Jesse Moffatt, NMC’s Director of Collections and Exhibitions. “These photos are sure to stir up fond memories of the artists and venues that made the local music scene so vibrant back then.”

Reflections: 10 Years Capturing Calgary’s Alt Music Scene opens to the public on September 18 and runs until the fall of 2022. Admission to Studio Bell is free on weekends for the remainder of 2021, courtesy of ATB. Download your free admission passes at, and leave a pay-what-you-can donation to support NMC’s programs and charitable efforts.

About National Music Centre | Centre National de Musique
The National Music Centre (NMC) has a mission to amplify the love, sharing, and understanding of music and is preserving and celebrating Canada’s music story inside its home at Studio Bell in Calgary’s East Village. A registered charity with programs that include exhibitions, artist development, performance, and education, NMC is inspiring a new generation of music lovers. For more information about NMC’s onsite activities, please visit To check out the NMC experience online, including video-on-demand performances, made-in-Canada stories, and highly entertaining educational content, visit


Media Contact:
Julijana Capone, Senior Publicist
National Music Centre
T 403.543.5123 | C 403.710.4758 | @nmc_canada