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Music Instrument Bank

Performing at Festival of the Sound



About the Musical Instrument Bank

Every 3 years, talented Canadian classical musicians compete for the chance to borrow fine stringed instruments from the Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank (MIB). The competition is intense and is decided by a jury of professional musicians and peers*. Musicians who win the competition are often invited to perform with their instruments on some of the world’s most celebrated stages.

The MIB includes close to 22 magnificent instruments worth a total of over $41 million. These historically-significant violins, cellos and bows, ranging in age from the late 1600s to the early 1900s, were crafted by the world’s finest luthiers such as Stradivari, Gagliano and Pressenda. Find out more about the instruments.

The Canada Council funds, administers and promotes the MIB collection and competition. It started the MIB in 1985 through the generous legacy of $100,000 from the Barwick family of Ottawa. Since then it has grown steadily thanks to generous donations, loans, and purchases made with donated funds. .

Ric Heinl and his team of luthiers at Geo. Heinl & Co. Limited are responsible for restoring and maintaining the instruments.

* The jury members for the 2015 completion were: Mary-Katherine Finch, Clemens Merkel, Maria Kaneko Millar and Lara St. John

Find out how to donate to the MIB