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Venue news

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Carleton Music Bar & Grill Needs Your Help

Halifax's premiere live music bar struggling due to downtown development

Posted By on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 at 1:55 PM

  • The Carleton
  • GoogleStreetView

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. 

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

UNITY Charity's breakdance launch at the Library tonight

New weekly programs for youth in breakdancing and beatboxing

Posted By on Wed, Dec 2, 2015 at 5:24 PM

  • Freedom Photography (Ryan Stacey)

Tonight at the Halifax Central Library (6pm, free), UNITY Charity will announce its new partners in bringing Halifax youth weekly breakdancing and beatboxing sessions, with the Charity's founder Michael Prosserman aka “Bboy Piecez." The national community organization has made its way to our city via Branden "Haste" Taylor and Matthew "Testament" Jones, leaders of the breakdancing sessions at the Library every Monday evening. The goal of the program is to create safe, engaging and positive spaces for youth in Halifax, to cope with anger and stress through the arts, as well as flourish in hip hop. For more info, click here

Artists, beatboxers, dancers and musicians can apply to volunteer! 

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Patriot Way: An Interview with the NFL's Troy Brown

The New England Hall of Fame wide receiver is in town tonight to watch football

Posted By on Thu, Nov 26, 2015 at 6:48 PM

click image Troy Brown, wide receiver, New England Patriots (1993-2007)
  • Troy Brown, wide receiver, New England Patriots (1993-2007)

Tonight at HFX Sports Bar & Grill (check it out), Troy Brown is in town. The wide receiver of the New England Patriots for fifteen years, with three Super Bowl rings (2002, 2004, 2005), five AFC wins and an induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame, came by The Coast today to chat about his football career. One lucky fan at HFX will win a trip to Super Bowl 50

Originally from South Carolina (watch this), Brown played for Marshall University in West Virginia before being drafted into the NFL in 1993. He was cut then re-signed and for over a decade, he helped take the Patriots to the Super Bowl five times; the first time in 1997 and then with QB Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick. He set team reception records (557) with a career-high of 31 touchdowns. Since his retirement in 2008, the family man has been a Patriots commentator with ComCast and he recently published a book about his time with the team, Patriot Pride: My Life in the New England Dynasty (available on Amazon). 

Brown is in town for one night at HFX Sports Bar (8pm, 19+) to watch the Chicago Bears play the Green Bay Packers, the team that defeated the Patriots at the Super Bowl in the '96 season. 

What brings you to Halifax?

I'm here to help the NFL. I’m all for promoting our game. For me, to be here promoting the game and getting recognized by fans, that's saying a lot for the game. The fans here are into it just as much as the fans back in the States. It says a lot for game and for the people of Halifax, as well. 

It seems you still have a good relationship with the Patriots.

I’m not officially involved, but I’m around. I live five minutes away from the facility, so I’m around, and I’ve got an open invitation from Belichick and (Robert) Kraft that I’m always welcome. 

Can you tell me about your loyalty to the team. Fifteen years is a long time.

Loyalty-wise, I was in a position where — when Belichick came back in 2000 — I was with the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent, and I thought about signing with them but when I was there, the Patriots offered me an opportunity to be a starting wide receiver for the team. So I ended up coming back and we only won four or five games the first year, but then things just started clicking. I was in my eighth, ninth season at that particular time and I was like, well, why not stay? That’s where I had been my whole career. And the fans became pretty loyal towards me and really respected and enjoyed the way I played the game. It just became like a second home to me.  

And you had built such strong team by that point ... 

Yes, we built the foundation. What you see now was built by the guys who played in the 2000 and 2001 years and the fans really still love us. I haven’t played in eight years and I still have a lot of respect. I just put a book out and that’s done really well. I think the fans really related with it well, and I think I underestimated what I meant to the community and the New England area. Fans have really come out and supported the book and support me. It makes it a great place to live.

Playing college, at what point did an NFL career feel like a real possibility? 

It was the moment I got drafted. I didn’t have any idea what it really was, at that particular time. I just knew I was going to the NFL. I just knew it was a childhood dream, and now here I am. But at first, I only knew I was gonna be on an NFL team. I didn’t know the ins-and-outs of being cut or staying on the roster, you know? I was clueless about all those things and I actually made the final cut in my rookie year so I think the reality sunk in when I was on the NFL roster ... But it was short-lived because I got cut the following training camp and eventually was brought back on the roster, and that's actually when the reality of it set in — not just "making it" but how difficult it was to stay there and have a career ... And then to play fifteen years was kind of unheard of. I played fifteen years with the same team. After 1993, they came with the new CBA (collective bargaining agreement) and guys could go into free agency and sign with different teams and so playing with the same team for fifteen years was really unheard of. You don’t see that happen in today’s game. 

Well on top of that, it was an amazing fifteen years!

An amazing fifteen years. And every year we had a chance. We had a chance and that’s what so great about it. In 2000, we were out of it. In 2002, we didn’t make playoffs. We were close. But every year from that point on, we were there and we always had a chance. Ten of those fifteen years I played, we were in the playoffs and we had an opportunity to do something. Lotta guys can’t say that. In the earlier days, a couple guys I played with had never played a playoff game, and these guys were at the end of their careers at that time. So you could see how thankful they were to be a part of the Patriots. Those kinds of things are great stories to share with the people. 


On that note, what are some of your highlights? Super Bowls obviously ... 

I like to share the highlights and lowlights. You know, being cut, being a 23-year-old kid, basically and not understanding the situation I was in and how it all worked out ... Those are things I learned to appreciate and learn valuable lessons from. How to conduct myself as a professional and not just rest on, 'Oh I’ve made it, my dream is complete, I've got the uniform.' Those kinds of things I look back on and learn to appreciate, you know? Some of the bonehead plays that happened (laughs), I reflect on those, as well.  Like, I fumbled on my first kick-off, in New England, our first home game, I fumbled it but scored a touchdown, one of the fastest touchdown scores in the history of the game. From there, I just continued to grow. I didn’t let those things hold me down or get me down, I just used them to help myself grow a little bit ... Being able to play in the Super Bowl, in my fourth year, against the Packers ... We were were out-manned, you know, they were a superior team by far, man, but we hung in there with them. It's in my book ...

2001 was a big year. The 2001 team was an amazing team ... 9/11, the quarterback’s coach died, Bledsoe got hurt, Tom Brady coming in for the first time and being named the starter for the rest of the year. Those kind of things stick out in my career and some of the plays that happened: blocking the kick in Pittsburgh and picking it up, and scoring a touchdown and returning the point for a touchdown ... Adam Vinatieri kicking the field goal in the snow against the Raiders. All those great stories. I have a lot of great memories. I'm 44 now. They're still there. 

What's Tom Brady like? 

Tom Brady’s pretty cool. He’s a down-to-earth guy, like he’s probably more shy than people think he is. He's probably the opposite of Peyton Manning — Peyton’s out there with the media stuff.

I love Papa Johns

Yeah, he hasn’t found a deal he doesn’t like (laughs) but Tom’s more reserved. I like Peyton, he’s a great guy, awesome guy, but Tom's just a little different, a little more reserved. He chooses things cautiously. And he's a great teammate, very respectful. He demands a lot of everybody and a lot out of himself, and I think that’s why you see him being so successful and the team being so successful, because he keeps the bar set at a high, high level all the time, he’s an awesome guy. 

Belichick and Brown - NFL.COM
  • Belichick and Brown

So what's Belichick like?

He’s great too. Everybody has those days, but for the most part, he likes to joke. He likes to laugh, but he likes to get his work done, as well. But, you know, he’s actually pretty funny. He likes to be comical and I think he gets a bad rep just because of the way he is with the media, his short answers and his grumpy disposition (laughs) but that comes along with it. I think he understands that. The people that know him, the guys that know him, they know he’s a good guy. 

He must inspire the the team. 

He does. He does a great job. There's no other way his team could be so successful unless he keeps finding ways to motivate them and inspire them to go out and play the way they do, every single week. It’s not an easy job. Players can get complacent or satisfied with where they are, with money they have, whatever else, but he continues to find ways to motivate them. He's inspiring. 

As a commentator for ComCast, you must catch all the games.

I pretty much watch every single game. I'm always watching them. 

What are you thoughts on the season so far?

Season’s been great! They’re 10 and 0. I'm just a little concerned about so many injuries, especially on offense. I wonder how long can they hold up. I’d love to see them go undefeated. As a player, I wouldn’t talk about that, but since I'm curbing the team now, that would be awesome. But it’s the way things are with that team, they’re down to basically two healthy receivers now. And one healthy receiver just got moved up from the practice squad last week, so that’s what they’re down to. It makes it a lot less likely, especially going into Denver this week. Denver is pretty tough, their defence is really, really good. And the offense is starting to play better now that Peyton’s out. Who could imagine that? But I still want to see them go undefeated, but i’m a little less optimistic about it ... if they lose this week, it’s not the end of the world. It gives them a chance to get a little more healthy for the last five weeks of the season and give that big push. 

Were you in Arizona for Super Bowl XLIX? 

Yes I was, man. It’s a great place to have a Super Bowl, by the way. The weather wasn’t as great as we wanted it, but it's a great place to have it, for that time of year. And it was quite a finish to the game. That’s how you want them, that’s how New England Super Bowls always are. They always come down to the wire. We found a way to come out on top. And the energy is ridiculous, it is ridiculous. It's almost as great as having kids, watching your kids be born, it’s a great feeling. 

What retirement been like? Are you enjoying it? 

I planned to take a year off but WEEI, a radio station, called me to do some pre-game radio shows then ComCast asked if I wanted to do pre-game and nightly shows and I’m like, sure why not. So I ended up getting into that side of things, media and broadcasting, and it's something I never thought I’d do but I ended up liking it! It kept me around the game and I'm still doing it.

And you bring so much expertise with you ... 

Yes, they appreciated that a lot. And I got better at speaking. As a player, I was little shy, I was camera-shy definitely. I didn’t feel very comfortable so I didn't speak well in front of those cameras, but this helped me out a lot, even just in terms of dealing with people — So like, me sitting here right now having this conversation probably wouldn’t have happened 10 years ago ... As a player, I ran from the cameras. Anytime it was time for the cameras, I’d run into the meeting room and got dressed in there (laughs). This has helped me a lot. 

Aside from the book and media, what other plans do you have? 

Well, I got my two oldest kids — one’s a senior, one’s a sophomore — so once that sophomore gets to senior year, I'll start to think about what’s going to happen, but the work I do now is perfect for me. And my kids are soccer players so it allows me to watch them and hang out when they have games and what not. So once that comes to an end, we’ll see, but there are a lot of avenues in the NFL. That’s what’s so great about this game. There are so many great things you can do with this game to help out and that’s what it’s all about with me. That’s the Patriot way. 

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Thursday, October 29, 2015

VIBES with DJ T-Woo launches tonight at Lion & Bright

The new weekly DJ night at Agricola Street's bar/resto is going to be chill as fuh

Posted By on Thu, Oct 29, 2015 at 1:30 PM


Tonight at Lion & Bright (10pm, free), DJ T-Woo (Trevor Wood) launches the first episode of VIBES, his new weekly 'DJ and chill' night. Every Thursday, T-Woo is gonna bring us his favourite "rap, funk, house, weird stuff and remixes" to sooth our music-loving souls as we get some drink on and eat some fancy fucking snacks (that jerky). One of the DJs behind Bleu Nuit and The Jam, and his own rap night, Doin' Damage (#FreeGucci), T-Woo approached Lion & Bright about filling up the cafe with that good music once a week, and they were totally down.

"I want the night to be different from my other, more dance-floor oriented nights," says Wood, "It'll be more of a weekly neighbourhood meeting spot. A night where you could just meet your friends for a drink in a more relaxed atmosphere with a good soundtrack." Why should you come out and VIBE? Wood answers: "Because Lion & Bright is sweet, because it's free, because their food and drinks are on point, because there always seems to be good-looking well-dressed people there AND because the music will be carefully selected by yours truly!" Sounds dope. I can't wait. 

Good-looking and well-dressed - CREDIT: PHOTOTYPE
  • Good-looking and well-dressed
  • Credit: PHOTOTYPE

To get T-Woo in the mood, I asked him to pair up some of his choice tracks with drinks from Lion & Bright's carefully designed cocktail menu. I think you should try them all. Baby, I have. 

Cocktail: BOURBON SOUR (Buffalo Trace bourbon, lemon, egg white, bitters) 
Pairs well with: UGK - "International Players Anthem" 
BECAUSE: "Because both are from the south and I could see Pimp C (RIP) and Bun B drinking them at a summer BBQ. The sweetness of the southern rap also nicely balances out the sour." 

Cocktail: CLASSIC MARTINI (Tito's Vodka or Citadelle Gin, lemon or olive)
Pairs well with: Stevie Wonder - "Superstition" 
BECAUSE: "Both classics, both timeless, both damn good after a long day at work." 

Cocktail: CORPSE REVIVER #2 (Gin, Lillet, Cointreau, lemon, Pernod, twist) 
Pairs well with: Midnight to Monaco - "Suicide Remix" 
BECAUSE: "Alot of elements to this drink.... and it's like a remix of the original. Pairs well with this remix of a Midnight to Monaco song I am obsessed with at the moment. Lots going on in this song, but it all comes together for something interesting and delicious."

Cocktail: MARTINEZ (Gin, Vermouth, Maraschino, Cointreau, orange bitters/twist)
Pairs well with: Drake & Future - "Big Rings"
BECAUSE: "I have no other explanation other than I've been looking at the cocktail menu and I think Drake would like this drink. What do I know though? ... What a time to be alive."

Cocktail: MARGARITA (Cazadores Tequila, Cointreau, syrup, lime)
Pairs well with: Ninetoes - "Finder"
BECAUSE: "Margaritas = Vacation. This song sounds like vacation. I think it's the steel drums, I'm a sucker for steel drums."

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Friday, October 2, 2015

Q & A: Jeremy Banks, the new director of Bus Stop Theatre

Halifax's independent theatre co-op hired a new executive director last month

Posted By on Fri, Oct 2, 2015 at 3:32 PM

New executive director Jeremy Banks & outgoing director Clare Waque - THE BUS STOP THEATRE
  • New executive director Jeremy Banks & outgoing director Clare Waque
  • The Bus Stop Theatre

Last month, The Bus Stop Theatre announced the hiring of its new executive director, Jeremy Banks. After incorporating as a non-profit co-operative in 2013 and establishing a Board of Directors, Waque's vision to transfer leadership was accomplished with Banks, a west-coast arts and culture administrator who moved to Halifax two years ago. We caught up with Banks for a Q & A about his new position, the value of the theatre, and what the future holds. 

Can you tell me a bit about your background? You're new to Halifax?

New to Halifax? Suppose so. This is year two in Halifax, but I've been here long enough to attend Dalhousie, join Deepwater Church, volunteer on the board of Eastern Front Theatre, work to make democracy better with Springtide Collective, put pianos in public with #PlayMeHfx and join ArtsHalifax, HRM's arts advisory committee. I'm also working with artist Eryn Foster on a project with the Dalhousie Art Gallery and Dalhousie Urban Garden Society - so there's that too. My background is in arts on the west coast, where I founded a festival, managed small theatre and ran marketing for big theatre. From there I found a passion for places where arts and culture meet Urban Design. You quickly discover arts and culture create economic growth - it's one of the ways Ontario created jobs and supported growth during the '08 recession, and it still works to create growth today in the communities that invest in it.

How did you hear about the Bus Stop and when did you get involved?

How can you not hear about the Bus Stop? It's the place for independent, innovative and alternative live events: theatre, festivals, music, performance art, art shows, and I'm totally into that! I attended the Bus Stop first as an audience member, then later started making plans with friends to host shows. Now I'm an Executive Director. Who knew?

Why was this position appealing to you? Why did you take it on?

I took on this role with the Bus Stop because it's a place where urban change meets arts and culture - it's a community hub, a platform for sharing your message and a place that locals have come to know and love - situated in one of the most diverse neighbourhoods in Halifax. With that in mind, it's a role doing exactly what I love - bringing together communities, supporting economic growth, and doing it in a way that supports as many people, organizations and performers as possible. In fact, it's the only place of it's kind in the Atlantic Region's largest metropolitan area - a gem found nowhere else in the maritimes than on Gottingen Street.

What do you hope to develop in your time as Executive Director?

I hope to support the legacy and community that Clare has fostered over the years - there's a great community of people who love and support the Bus Stop Theatre Cooperative through their membership and contributions on our board - especially Colleen MacIsaac, our Board Chair, who has worked with Clare since the first murmurs of creating a cooperative. So really - I hope to keep doing what Clare and the Bus Stop Theatre Cooperative have been doing: giving artists, community members and locals a place to perform, incubate and create in Halifax.

  • Christian Aires

What do you think is special about the Bus Stop as a venue and a space?

Clare asked this at a meeting the other day - I think she was fishing for a compliment because ever since coming to Halifax, I've known that the Bus Stop is the place to see unique, sometimes odd, and often groundbreaking performances - its the only place of it's kind in Halifax and Atlantic Canada, and because of that it's often a place where professional artists present new works before taking them nationally and internationally. It showcases not just regional artists, but international ones - a platform to present, connect and grow in a way that just can't be done elsewhere.

What are your favourite kinds of events? Theatre? Music? Etc?

That's a hard question. The best of anything is always a favourite. But THE favourite kind of event for me? The ones that brings everything together. A theatre show that involves a live band and incredible visual art, or an art show that has a great live performance and music, or a concert that's really well-directed - and the best part is when it's not from a professional - like when your friend does a great mixed-media performance over a well-designed mixtape style-musical score that involves eye-dropping visuals and it sells out. That's the type of show you just won't see anywhere else. It's why I love the Bus Stop!

Click here to become a member of the Co-op or for more info on programs and events. 

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Monday, February 11, 2013

Steady Hills loves the Marquee

If you can say the same, you'll be happy to know you can help the Marquee's cause by writing a letter

Posted By on Mon, Feb 11, 2013 at 1:20 PM


Steady Hills filmed the video for "Long Grey Roads" in the Marquee while they recorded their fittingly-named EP, Alone in the Marquee. Have a look and a listen and think back to your own memorable Marquee moments (we won't judge).

If you've been champing at the bit to get yourself in that place again, help the cause along a little by sending an email, a letter or signing a petition for the space to be approved for a lounge license.

From The Marquee Ballroom Facebook group:

"The Marquee has applied to The Alcohol and Gaming Division of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations for a lounge license (open until 2am). Our intention is to operate the new venture, to be named The Marquee Ballroom, as more of an Arts Centre than merely a typical nightclub. Our goal is to showcase quality National, International and East Coast music and to be a facility available for use by the theater, art and film communities as well as non profit organizations, local promoters and private groups.

Our license application is now being considered by the AGD and it is critical that we show public support for our application. If you feel that a venue such as The Marquee is important to the Halifax cultural community we ask that you take a moment to write the AGD expressing your support. If you live in the area please note that in your letter as the board will definitely give particular consideration to endorsements from residents.

Thanks in advance for your support!

Victor Syperek--Owner
Greg Clark--Entertainment Manager

Deadline for submissions is--Monday February 18,2013

Send to:

Manager of Licensing
Alcohol and Gaming Division
Re: Marquee Ballroom Lounge License Application
(Make sure to include your address, phone number and name)

Email ---
Mail ---
780 Windmill Rd
PO Box 545
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
B2Y 3Y8

It would be much appreciated if you could SHARE this post on your Facebook page! Also,it would be helpful if you could let us know you've sent a support letter by emailing us at Thanks again!

Also--there's a petition--letters are most valuable to us though!

Nothing like a little community involvement to get your week rolling, right?

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Halifax Central Library in 3D

The future of tomorrow, today!

Posted By on Fri, Nov 9, 2012 at 12:58 PM


The Halifax Central Library is having a real cool 2012-style 3D virtual tour unveiling the new library level by level this Wednesday, November 14 (Pier 21, 7-9pm, free, all ages). The event will feature presentations from the architects, music from KOJO, giveaways and refreshments, and displays showcasing community spaces like the Halifax City Space. With a capacity of 250, the City Space can be rented by arts organizations or for live shows (new venue!). The event will be streamed live on and the Twitter hashtag to follow is #hfxcentral3D.

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Thursday, December 15, 2011

Tribeca to close January 1

Say it ain't so!

Posted By on Thu, Dec 15, 2011 at 10:22 PM


Due to pressure from the liquor board and the fire marshal, Tribeca Bistro & Bar (1588 Granville) is scheduled to close its doors for good on January 1, 2012.

The capacity limitations put on the bar have made it difficult to stay afloat and the city will lose yet another venue in the new year.

When Tribeca first opened, the capacity was set at 192. That has since been reduced to 120. "There was a point in the summer the capacity was 60 people," says Loukas Crowther (The Coast's production manager), who DJs regularly at the bar. Having essentially cut a third of the bar's business, Nova Scotia's draconian liquor laws claim another great venue.

Goodbye, Tribeca. We will miss you.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Coconut Grove No More

welcome bikram yoga

Posted By on Tue, Jun 28, 2011 at 2:20 PM

Tupperware Remix Party at Coconut Grove, October 2010
  • alison lang
  • Tupperware Remix Party at Coconut Grove, October 2010

Coconut Grove Nightclub is turning into a yoga studio. According to an article in today's edition of, the Grafton St. venue will be closing down at the end of the month and transformed into a Bikram Yoga. Owner Remo Petrella says he’s working on opening a new venue in Halifax. Meanwhile, the yoga studio's operator Kristin Johnson writes that the shop will begin construction in August and should be up and running by early November. So, yeah. Another one bites the dust, etc. Please allow me a moment of indulgence as I call for a moment of silence for that patio - a place where I and many others spent summer nights taking smoke breaks and/or making fun of people tottering up the street to Pizza Corner. However, Johnson says all is not lost - "I am a music lover and there will definitely be events happening there once I am up and running," she says. "That patio can be used for so many things."

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Friday, June 3, 2011

Halifax Record Fair

tomorrow whaaaaa

Posted By on Fri, Jun 3, 2011 at 2:32 PM


Halifax hasn’t had a record fair since 2004. That seems crazy, considering the number of people in this city who are freaks for vinyl, but it’s true. Childhood friends and record collectors Kevin Beal and Phil McDonald are seeking to rectify this by launching the Halifax Record Fair this Saturday from 8am to 5pm at the Halifax Forum’s Maritime Hall. 30 vendors from all over the Maritimes will be coming to buy, sell and trade an estimated 50,000 records. Drool. There will also be band merchandise and CKDU DJs playing music. The cost is $5 before 10am and $2 afterwards.

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Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Last Call for the Paragon

final show may 31

Posted By on Tue, May 3, 2011 at 12:10 PM

My favorite paragon performance: Kylesa at HPX 2010
  • me!
  • My favorite paragon performance: Kylesa at HPX 2010

The Paragon Theatre will be hosting its last show on May 31.
According to Mark Townsend — who helped run the venue along with business partners Craig Mercer and Peter Farmer — the lineup for the show hasn’t yet been confirmed, but Paragon and Gallery Pub merchandise will be up for grabs, including t-shirts and mugs. Farmer’s autographed paintings of artists like Pharoahe Monch, Jenn Grant and Thursh Hermit are also up for sale. And of course, there’s the task of whittling down the liquor inventory — “I imagine there will be some pretty good drink specials,” Townsend says.
As the venue lurches towards closure after two years of operation, Townsend discusses some of the reasons why things didn’t work. One issue was location: he says the venue’s original business plan was to host wedding receptions and private events as well as live music, but prospective clients were wary of the Gottingen St area around the building. “People were a bit misled about what this neighbourhood is really like,” he says. He also cites a few “devastating” cancellations due to weather or illness, and big shows scheduled during what turned out to be exam periods. “Acts of God,” he says. “You can’t control them.”
As for the rumours about the site being re-zoned for condos, Townsend says he doesn’t know enough to comment. “I really have no idea what (owner) Victor (Syperek) is doing,” he says. He and his former partners are moving on. He’s taken a job as a food and beverage manger at a hotel in the city, while Farmer is moving to Montreal to pursue art and graphic design. Mercer will continue working as a musician in Halifax.
“We don’t have a huge debt load,” he says. “We just wanted to get out before it got too big. We worked our butts off and tried hard. We lived selflessly to make it work. But I think in the end, we’re in our 30s — we needed to ensure we had money for ourselves.”
When asked about his fondest memories of the venue, Townsend immediately points to the staff. “They have been unprecedented,” he says. “Gord Campbell, Gavin Carruthers and all the staff showed so much dedication. It’s been unbelievable what they’ve done.”

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Wednesday, April 20, 2011

JazzFest Does the Salter Shuffle

the move is a go-go

Posted By on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 at 8:14 PM


Yesterday, reporter Paul McLeod reported that the Halifax Jazz Festival will officially be moving to the Salter Block this summer.
As you might recall, the fest was being bumped from its Spring Garden and Queen St. location because it was deemed the site for the new Halifax Central Library.
While organizers had been weighing a few different new spots, McLeod reports that once the Waterfront Development Corp. took control of the Salter Block site, the move was more or less confirmed.
The fest will now be located between the Waterfront Warehouse and Jim Spatz's Bishop's Landing Development. It runs July 8 - 16.

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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Rock of Ages

a new jam space is on the way

Posted By on Tue, Nov 30, 2010 at 9:55 AM

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the Rock Garden jam space closing its doors permanently, much to the chagrin of many in the Halifax music community. Well, good news, everyone - a new practice space is being put together in the same Hunter Street location. The other day I got ahold of Pete Green, who will be running the spot along with his partner, Sande Jordan. Although details are still rough, he says the new place—-tentatively dubbed Rockopolis Rehearsal Studios—-will feature four equipped rooms to be rented hourly, while the other four rooms will be rented on a monthly basis. A pile of new equipment is being procured, including new drum kits, guitar and bass amps, and a new PA. Green says each of the rooms will be identical, and he’s working on soundproofing three of them ahead of the space’s proposed opening, sometime around December 13. The space’s hours will be 4pm-midnight, Monday to Friday, with some weekend hours. Green is clearly eager to take on this new venture. “When the Rock Garden closed, a lot of musicians wondered ‘What am I going to do?’ I know I was saying that,” he says. “It’s one of those services that Halifax needs.”

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Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A Paragon of a Year

The Paragon Theatre celebrates its one-year anniverary.

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 10:31 AM

ra-da-da-da-da-da its your birthdayyy!
  • ra-da-da-da-da-da it's your birthdayyy!

It seems like only yesterday that the Marquee was laid to rest and the
Paragon Theatre rose from its ashes. The music and art venue celebrates its one-year anniversary all next week, culminating with performances by the Jimmy Swift Band, Slowcoaster and Grand Theft Bus on Friday April 2. The show will also feature a full-on display of resident artist Peter Farmer's paintings of musicians who have passed through the Paragon—-everyone from Farmer favorite Skratch Bastid to the GZA to King Khan and BBQ.
"It's just a homage to the artists who have played here," Farmer says of the paintings. "The musicians are generally very humbled by it. And it's an experience for showgoers too—-they can look at a painting and say, hey, I was at that show."
Along with the marriage of music and art, Farmer says the venue's focus on diverse acts has kept them afloat over the past months—-from 90's hip-hoppers to polished club DJs to indie rock.
"Halifax has more musicians or artists than any other city I've lived in," he says. "The city's population is fairly small. It's sometimes not wise to concentrate only on one genre of music."
Looking forward, Farmer says the bar will continue to host its popular live painting series, and adds that management is hoping to invite in a new medium—-namely, more theatre.
"After the success of Hedwig the Angry Inch (performed at last year's Pride) we're looking to incorporate more live theatre, especially over the summer."

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Thursday, March 11, 2010

In Good Company

The House helps musicians develop their chops

Posted By on Thu, Mar 11, 2010 at 2:24 PM

Peachy keen.
  • Scott Blackburn
  • Peachy keen.

It’s been a good couple of weeks for the Company House. Fresh off an ECMA nod for Venue of the Year and co-owner Heather Gibson’s win for Manager of the Year, the warm, cozy Gottingen joint has also begun hosting an Artist in Residence program. Co-owner MaryAnn Daye likens the program to similar initiatives at the Cameron House in Toronto, where musicians get the chance to “present new music, fine tune older pieces and hone their performance skills in a live environment.” Natasha Peach will be assuming the role every second Monday for the next few months, working out piano tunes for your listening pleasure. Her next performance will be Monday March 15 at 9pm. Admission is free but donations for the artist will be accepted.

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