Area 52 Productions, the popular local band practice space, is in the process of moving. Co-owner Kirk Symonds explains, as delicately as possible, that they weren't given much choice about leaving their long-standing location at 2182 Gottingen. "The lease ended at the end of June, and there was no renewal offered from the landlord." As of July, no new tenant had been found for the space, so Area 52 was able to extend their lease for another month—but that ends soon. Symonds and his business partner, Stefan Schiebel, have been actively seeking a new spot, hoping to move as soon as the month ends. The hunt hasn't been easy. "Honestly, I think it would be easier to open a brothel than a music studio. Landlords really don't want that amount of noise." Symonds has been helping Area 52 clients find alternatives, but hopefully it won't be long before Halifax's longest-running rehearsal space is up and running again in a new location. Symonds assures me that more information will be coming soon, so check back to learn what the future holds for Area 52. For now, you can call Area 52 at 492-2550.
Times might be tough for musicians looking for rehearsal studios, but the quieter art of photography has gained a couple of new spaces in the past year. One such spot is the Metro Visually Creative Artist Society, located in the Coburg Professional Centre at 6389 Coburg Road. The non-profit society offers 1,000 square feet of photo studio space, available for $25/hour. Along with the studio, photographers can rent camera equipment. Membership is not required, but is recommended, as members receive a rental discount. The society is open to both amateur and professional photographers and is available seven days a week with negotiable hours. As a non-profit the society also accepts donations of either camera equipment or cash. For more information or to book the studio call 830-2993.
Up with Downtime
Deco Restaurant is making happy hour a little happier with some live music. The newly-renovated bistro will host live jazz and blues starting Friday, July 13. For the next week, Deco will have live musicians performing on weeknights from 6 to 8pm while patrons enjoy happy hour pricing on drinks. These hours will be known as "Downtime," an idea conceived by floor manager Troy Arsenault. Deco is located at 5518 Spring Garden Road. For more info call the restaurant at 423-9795.
Don't let it be said that Saint Mary's University isn't hip to what the kids are digging. Saint Mary's has launched a new feature on their website called SMUtube. It's a place for SMU students, faculty and staff to upload and share video clips. The goal is to create a new network of communication between present, past and prospective SMU students which taps into the popularity of media-share sites such as YouTube. Currently the site has video clips ranging from orientation week highlights, to professors discussing career opportunities in their fields, to a virtual tour of campus. To visit SMUtube, go to www.SMUtube.ca.
Camp Bow Wow is now open in Dartmouth at 650 Portland Street. The international company's first Canadian franchise is locally owned by John and Claudette Sinclair. Dogs, or "campers" as they are referred to at Camp Bow Wow, have access to three large outdoor and three large climate-controlled indoor play areas, which include fencing, shade areas, pools and playground equipment. Overnight campers get to stay in cozy cabins with fleece bedding. Owners can even watch their dogs remotely on the net thanks to a number of Camper Cams. The doggie enthusiastic Sinclairs are excited to introduce Camp Bow Wow to Atlantic Canada. "As dog lovers," says John Sinclair, "We are having as much fun as the dogs that stay with us!" Camp Bow Wow is also involved with the local SPCA and other animal shelters, and provides free shelter to foster dogs while finding adoptive homes for them. The Sinclairs encourage dog owners to drop in and look at the facilities. You can also check out their website at www.mycbw.com/hrm or call them at 431-DOGS.
There might be such a thing as being too successful. For 10 years, Propeller Brewing Co. has been bottling their popular craft ales and sodas for the thirsty people of HRM. As a testament to how good their products are, or, perhaps, to how much Halifax loves to drink, Propeller has been unable to meet production demands of late. To solve the problem, the Gottingen Street brewery has ordered new tanks to double production capacity. But the tanks haven't arrived yet, and that means Propeller fans might have a bit of a wait on their hands for their favourite beverages. Company founder John Allen appreciates everyone's patience. "The public, the NSLC and our licensees have been incredibly understanding," says Allen, "They're happy to see a truly locally owned brewery succeed and many, if not most, of them have been with us from the beginning." To contact Propeller, telephone 422-7767.
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