The Canada Council for the Arts has acquired three violins and two cellos for its musical instrument bank. The five instruments are together valued at CAD$1.6m (£1m), bringing the total value of the 19-instrument collection (plus one cello bow) to CAD$28m.

The Canada Council used funds from a CAD$1.1m bequest to purchase three instruments: the 1730 'Newland' Giovanni Francesco Celionati cello, an 1871 Jean-Baptiste Vuillaume violin and a Stefano Scarampella violin of 1900. The other two instruments, a 1929 Carlo Giuseppe Oddone cello and the 1768 'Miller' Gennaro Gagliano violin, are being loaned to the organisation.

Instruments from the Canada Council's collection are loaned every three years to professional Canadian classical string players who compete for the opportunity. The finals of the 2012 competition take place in September.