The Carleton Music Bar & Grill needs your help. For years, the elegant Argyle Street venue owned by Mike Campbell has been the setting for some of the most memorable and intimate shows. With a delectable menu, expert bartending, that beautiful patio, attentive sound engineers and the best audio system in Halifax, it's been a staple venue for touring rock and folk artists, the Halifax Pop Explosion and the Halifax Urban Folk Festival (HUFF), among others.
This week, Campbell has finally reached out to Halifax to financially contribute to the bar. The impact of the construction and development of Nova Centre, which might be complete by September, has been enormous on small businesses in the downtown core: "At this stage, we've lost about 100 parking spaces around our business. We endure endless, often random, street closures and other construction-related headaches, as well as dust, dirt, and noise on a daily basis," says Campbell. "Asking for help is a huge step for me and I do it reluctantly."
While the completion of the Nova Centre brings optimistic promises of a revitalized downtown, businesses have to survive in the meantime. Moreover, there will never be sun on Argyle Street again. Either way, Campbell enlisted the support of folks in the industry to help make a case for the importance of the bar. It really is one of the most unique venues in Halifax, one of the only spaces to offer sit-down table-service and shows with sound so clear you can hear a pin drop.
In the video below, artists who have performed at The Carleton — Joel Plaskett, Jenn Grant, Steve Poltz, July Talk, Matt Minglewood, Ron Hawkins, Robyn Hitchcock, Adam Baldwin and more — explain why The Carleton is a vital space in Halifax's music scene, and a very special part of Canadian culture. Not to mention, Campbell has dedicated his career to the Canadian music industry. He's not even asking for much — pledges of $5 to $10 per month, or one-time donations — anything you can afford. He wouldn't ask if he didn't need it.
You can check out the campaign here and make a pledge, big or small. You can also patronize the bar, whether for music, drinks or food. It'll help you remember why you live in this city in the first place — we love Halifax and live in Halifax because of places like The Carleton. Also, if this helps, check out this badass interview Campbell did with Eric's Trip on Much East in 1996.