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Stories that move us Beyond the Beat

Historical and contemporary stories of how music, musicians and audiences move society towards greater justice.

A woman enthusiastically holding a megaphone at the centre of the image is encircled by multicoloured rays over a mottled blue and green background. Partially obscured.

An interview with Tegan and Sara

By CMHR Curatorial Team

Tegan and Sara, identical twin sisters hailing from Calgary, Alberta, have been performing together for more than 25 years. The sisters have openly identified as queer and as such, their music has motivated, encouraged and inspired a generation of LGBTQ+ and feminist fans at home and abroad.

Two people with long hair in high ponytails wearing winter coats pose in the corner of a grey-painted brick room.

The Amchitka Campaign

By Barbara Stowe

Music played a key role in the founding of Greenpeace. Joni Mitchell, James Taylor and others played a benefit concert to raise money for its momentous first mission.

A boat in the water with mountains and clouds in the background. Its sail is decorated with large peace signs.

Beyond the Beats and Rhymes Is Life

By Mark V. Campbell (DJ Grumps)

For decades, hip hop has spoken truth to power. Its lyrics, rhythms, dance and art express youth culture, challenge inequality, and resonate around the world.

A woman in a grey jacket and darker grey pants is breakdancing on a sidewalk during daytime. Trees and buildings are in the background.

Heartbeat of a People

By Dave McLeod

First Nation, Inuit and Métis music has demonstrated remarkable resilience and adaptability throughout history. Music by the people is still at the heart of who they are, as it has been for millennia.

Close-up on a group of people wearing beaded jackets and vests performing on stage. In the centreer, a man wearing glasses, a hat, and a large, beaded medallion sings into a microphone.

Face the music: Canadian musicians and human rights

By Julia Peristerakis

Music is a universal language that transcends geographic and cultural barriers. Music moves us in a way that words alone cannot. But it can do much more than evoke emotion.

Two women and a man stand on a stage while a group of people in white shirts stand on risers behind them. The woman in the centre is waving to someone off-camera, and the man on the right is holding a microphone.

Feature exhibition: Beyond the Beat: Music of Resistance and Change

February to September 2024

Music can be a powerful force for social and political change. Explore stories of artists who have used their voices and platforms to advance causes and advocate for change.

A digital illustration showing a crowd clapping and raising their hands. The background shows a pixelated green soundwave shape and blue and black graffiti-like designs with neon-coloured diagonal lines radiating out from the center. Partially obscured.