Halifax is a music city. Some say it's the Atlantic Ocean, others believe it's the endless winters, the source or reason doesn't matter to Mary Ann Daye. She just hopes to foster it with The Company House (2202 Gottigen).
"My official deadline is to be open for the In the Dead of Winter Festival (January 27-31)," says Daye. "Music is first for me, as there is a lack of good spaces for live acoustic, singer-songwriter to perform. I know a lot of musicians and they are just crying out for somewhere to play. I want to make that happen."
Construction is well underway at The Company House, formerly home of The Galleria, as many local artists, including: Jenn Grant, Don Brownrigg, Tanya Davis, Daniel Ledwell and Kev Corbett have all got their hands dirty.
As you enter the building the bar is to the right of the spacious venue, a corner stage is elevated to the left, but it's the deep red painted walls that should tug at heartstrings. The deep shade is reminiscent of the walls of the legendary Khyber Club (1558 Barrington), formerly operated by Daye's partner and In the Dead of Winter founder Heather Gibson, which was abruptly forced to close in February 2006.
"There has been an amazing outpouring of support from the community that wants to be a part of this," she says. "Everything that's happening in this area, Gottigen is going to be what it once was – the main drag in Halifax."