THE CALGARY MUSIC COLLECTORS SHOW
By John Kereiff.
Have you ever been somewhere where you feel like you’re among your own people, folks that think and feel as you do about something? I have, and recently too. Sunday, October 20th, I attended the semi-annual Music Collector’s Show at The Acadia Rec Centre in Calgary. Dwaine Anderson, a friend I met through the Lloydminster & Area Music Enthusiasts Facebook page, was going as a vendor and asked if I’d like to tag along. I’d never attended a show like this before, so I said “sure”.
This event was started in May of 2009 by Mark Corner who has been collecting music “somewhat seriously” since the 70’s because he felt the city needed such a show on a regular, consistent basis. He then bumped it up to two shows a year, Fall and Spring, where it will stay. Vendors are attracted through word of mouth, invitation, social media, advertising, and Mark’s website; www.yycmusicshow.com. “We have a solid, regular audience who attend the show” Mark says, “new collectors who have just gotten into the hobby of collecting (and) curiosity seekers.”
After helping Dwaine set up his tables with 18 boxes of records- ranging from new, still sealed releases to the “Three For $10” box and the dollar albums- I watched the room fill quickly with people of all ages. There guys my age yes, but university aged music lovers too, families, and women with specific tastes. Some were on the hunt for rarities and collectibles, others looking to expand their vinyl library at home. I fit into the latter category; after foolishly selling off virtually all of my LP’s in the 90’s when compact discs took over, I am now re-collecting the catalogs of favorite artists and bands while picking up interesting stuff on the side. All in all I have 256 vinyl albums; far from the 2,000+ I had pre-90’s, or the 5,000-6,000 albums I own on compact disc.
As the hall filled with people browsing through the many tables and a deejay service filled the place with music and drew occasional door prizes, my buddy would often leave me in charge while he to went to browse around or horse-trade with other vendors. I would man the tables, selling records and trading or just listening to people’s stories. It was an uplifting and transformative day, a feeling of being with my own tribe, these music lovers… even telling Dwaine “I have to write about this.”
The best part? A woman in her twenties came up to our tables with her son, 6 or 7 years old. That she was a fellow music lover was clear and she had passed her passion along to her son. It was the boy who asked if we had any Devo albums (Whip It is a favorite of his) then, in the next breath, bragging on a Talking Heads album mom had bought him at the last show. It was a brief exchange but it filled me with an optimism I haven’t felt for ages. Little did he realize the magic trick he’d just performed for this tired old man.
Something I realized, too, is that despite writing album reviews for coming up on 30 years and having spent the best part of 42 years in broadcasting, there is so much about music I don’t know- but I’m fine with that. There are so many records, so many genres, so many titles, you just can’t listen to it all. The people in The Acadia Recreational Centre that day operated within the parameters of the music that moves them most. We all have our favorites, but that place and atmosphere of being open to experimentation and discovery was also in the air.
Being in that building with hundreds of people that share a passion for recorded music, being with my own tribe will, I hope, stay with me. I asked Mark if he’s considered doing the show more often, but he says “if it’s done more than twice a year it is no longer an ‘event’, (and) Spring and Fall are the perfect times to do it.” Whether I hook up with Dwaine again to help him at a show or attend on my own, the Music Collector’s Show in Calgary looks to become a regular trip for me.
If you’d like to attend as more than just a ‘flipper’, Corner says the show is open to anyone who wants to become a vendor. He and other vendors offer appraisals for records within reason, sometimes purchasing collections. If you’d like to go as a customer, show admission is $10 for early shopping from 9:30-11am, and $5 from 11am-4pm. The 2020 shows are already set; May 3rd and October 18th. For more complete details, go to the event website; www.yycmusicshow.com If you’re a music lover either just getting into or already serious about collecting, it’s a wonderful time.
What did I buy? Glad you asked;
“Carry Fire”- Robert Plant
“Pictures At Eleven”- Robert Plant
“Now And Zen”- Robert Plant
“Ram It Down”- Judas Priest
“Priest… Live!”- Judas Priest
“12 Greatest Hits”- Neil Diamond (picture disc)
“Spaceman”- Ace Frehley
“Paranoid”- Black Sabbath (picture disc)