The King Edward Hotel was built in the early 1900’s as a working class hotel mainly serving railroad workers. During prohibition in the 1920s, the hotel was busted on more than one occasion for serving alcohol, and later made history as Calgary’s first establishment to serve black and white patrons in the same room.
By the 1940s, the King Eddy bar became a working-class hangout known for its cheap beer. In the 1970s and 1980s, The Eddy became a blues bar and eventually closed its doors in 2004.
The King Eddy reopened in 2016 as part of the new National Music Centre. The iconic neon sign was refurbished and inspired the new logo. To pay homage to its liveliest era, we created a series of original blues posters and one large wall mural. Museum archives and old newspaper clippings were used for accuracy of musicians, dates and cover charges. The posters were arranged and mounted onto salvaged clap board and now hang inside the remodeled blues bar.
Geoff Hanson collaborated with me on this project. His amazing design skills, love of music and ability to swing a hammer made him the perfect duet partner.