Over 20 Exceptional Instruments

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

Pre-eminent classical musicians from Canada compete for the opportunity to borrow and perform with an exceptional instrument from the Canada Council’s Musical Instrument Bank for three years.

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 from Montréal.

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

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

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 —