January 23, 2017
Well, last week’s Music News Monday was a real bummer. There’s been a smattering of Canadian music venues that have closed down recently, which contributes loads more stress to the already difficult objective of creating and maintaining thriving music scenes in this country. It feels really good, though, to follow that up with some great news on the same front: Vancouver’s Red Gate Arts Society, which operates the underground music venue and art space Red Gate, has opened a second location on Granville Island called the Red Gate Revue Stage at 1601 Johnston Street.
They’ve nicknamed the project the Granville Island International Airport, and they’ve had a soft launch for the place already, with shows booked for this month. It’s a seated venue, and will also be open for workshops, panel discussions, film screenings, and more, as well as a rehearsal space for an alternative-school theatre program. At this point, it’s not licensed. The theatre is slated to be removed next year to make room for an expansion of the public market, so currently, Red Gate has a one-year lease with two six-month renewal terms. Lots of time to make a mark.
As Vandocument reports, the decision to open the new location came under unanticipated circumstances. “Last fall they (Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation) offered us the lease on the Revue Stage, quite unexpectedly,” says Red Gate’s Jim Carrico. “It doesn’t satisfy our mandate as an organization, which is to provide affordable studio/rehearsal space, but it’s certainly an opportunity to showcase our favorite artists and bring some of the East Van scene to the rest of the city. As part of our agreement with CMHC we will also manage existing bookings for 2017 so things like the Fringe Festival etc. will still be happening there as well.”
While there have been rumours about the original Red Gate location on East Hastings closing down, that’s currently not something to worry about, but Carrico also notes in that interview that Vancouver real estate is, of course, always changing, and can change rapidly. For now, this is one more victory for the DIY community! If you’d like to check out the events coming up for the Revue Stage (and you should!) you can do that on the Red Gate website.
And finally, a reminder that Bell Let’s Talk Day is coming on January 25. The National Music Centre has put together a full day of programming focused on mental health and music that will be going down at Studio Bell. It includes a performance by Séan McCann and a session with leading music therapist Jennifer Buchanan. And check out the Bell Let’s Talk Day website for more information on how Bell is working to advocate for mental health.
In Other News:
- Neil Young, Sarah Harmer, and others want electoral reform from Prime Minister Trudeau.
- Buffy Sainte-Marie receives the JUNOs’ 2017 Allan Waters Humanitarian Award.
- Flying Lotus is the 2017 Sled Island guest curator.
- Two Canadians among the dead in shooting at Mexico’s BPM Festival.
- Rich Aucoin got robbed in Costa Rica, losing some of his next album.
- Hear a smattering of Manitoba’s musical all-stars by streaming the Lovesick soundtrack.