In 2021, NaAC introduced pioneering programs that empower musicians with developmental disabilities to explore music as a creative endeavor, pushing the boundaries of audio innovation and fostering inclusive musical expression.

Professional Ensemble

Artists participating in our Music Ensemble have expressed interest in furthering their audio and music skills, examining and refining their individualized approach to music creation by participating in large-scale projects and experimenting with tools and guidance with NaAC staff.

Community Classes

Our Community Classes cater to musicians with developmental disabilities, offering tailored instruction in music-making for those with limited prior exposure or experience, addressing specific interests within the NaAC artist community.

Seven Miniatures

Discover the groundbreaking Sound.colLAB project, a celebration of disability and neurodiversity through music, in partnership with Xenia Concerts (TO) and the National accessArts Centre. Seven talented neurodivergent artists collaborated with nine professional musicians, including renowned composer Bekah Simms and the award-winning Rolston String Quartet, to create original miniature movements for string quartet and accompanying electronic tracks. This innovative project, which began in November 2021, introduced participants to composition through workshops and transformed audio recordings of sentimental objects into captivating musical scores.

Special Projects and Partnerships

Facilitating Anti-Ableist Remote Music-Making Research Project (FAARM)

The Facilitating Anti-Ableist Remote Music-Making (FAARMM) project is a disability-led Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) research initiative seeking to enhance access to remote music-making through collaboration between experts in music, disability, and technology. This initiative involves three key phases: Consult and Create, where 25 participants with disabilities collaborate on designing accessible music activities and interfaces; Prototype and Play, guided by experienced disabled artists who create multisensory music-making “kits” for testing; and Launch and Learn, involving 100 participants across Canada in a six-month remote residency program to express their disability experiences through music.

Canadian Accessible Musical Instrument Network Calgary Artist Residency Program

The Calgary Artist in Residence Program, part of the Canadian Accessible Musical Instrument Network (CAMIN), presently provides two $2500 short-term residencies to disabled musicians in Calgary. These residencies actively support musicians in developing their creative practices and careers by offering time, financial support, and collaboration opportunities with the CAMIN team. The Artists in Residence are currently working on music projects in partnership with CAMIN, actively researching and devising strategies for engaging audiences or participants. Additionally, residency artists have access to CAMIN’s nationwide network, including Blurring the Boundaries, an organization specializing in disability-led instrument development.

Contact us for more information

Clayton Smith
Lead, Programs & Exhibitions

Phone: (403) 253.3174 ext. 106

Carlos Arteaga
Coordinator, Audio and Music Programs

Phone: (403) 253.3174 ext. 11

Program supported by: