Over 20 Exceptional Instruments 

Crafted by world renowned luthiers, including Stradivari, Gagliano and Pressenda

Preeminent Canadian classical musicians compete for the opportunity to become the steward and performer of an exceptional instrument from the Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank on a 3 year loan.

History of the Musical Instrument Bank

The MIB was established with a $100,000 bequest from the Barwick family, and the fundraising efforts of the late William Turner, a businessman, and Denis Brott, a cellist, both of Montréal.

Since then, individuals and foundations have donated or loaned violins, cellos, and bows—created by such master craftsmen as Stradivari, Guarneri, and Gagliano—to the Bank, and made generous bequests for the Canada Council to purchase additional instruments.

The Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank has supported many notable Canadian classical musicians—including Lara St. John, Alexandre Da Costa, Martin Beaver, Judy Kang, Denise Djokic, Marc Djokic and Roman Borys. Read the cumulative list of winners.

Applications for the Next Competition Cycle

Please not that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the extension of the instrument refurbishment period, the deadline to apply for the next competition cycle has been pushed back to December 1, 2022.

Latest Winners

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Backstage with the Musical Instrument Bank

The Power of a Donation

The Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank consists of exceptional instruments donated or loaned by both individuals and foundations. These contributions empower the next generation of Canada’s major classical musicians to further their creative development and reach a new level in their careers, while also giving audiences around the world the opportunity to hear remarkable instruments at play.

Violinist Byungchan (Chan) Lee

"The opportunity to borrow an exceptional instrument at this fundamentally important and transitional time in my career has helped me find my own artistic voice."

— Byungchan Lee, 2015 and 2018 #InstrumentBank winner —