Vancouver! A city that is home to some of the best musicians in the world. Where tens of thousands of people attend the Jazz Festival every summer. Home to some of the most devoted folk music fans you can find. A place where lovers of traditional Chinese music live next door to devotees of classical Indian music. Where, every week, concertgoers can choose from classical chamber concerts, blues guitar, and music of la francophonie.
And yet, surprisingly, there is no facility in Vancouver that is specifically dedicated to music performance. There are performance venues in Vancouver that work very well for theatre or dance. But these same venues pose serious challenges for concert promoters and audiences: rental rates are too high for a single night show; there are few available dates between long-running plays; extra costs may be incurred for important sound gear needed for a concert; and even if other problems can be solved, they have poor acoustics and sightlines. Vancouver’s vibrant music community clearly deserves better! A purpose-designed facility will support the creative needs of musicians performing here, and greatly improve the experience of audience members.
The Music Centre will showcase the incredible diversity and wealth of music in Vancouver, as well as hosting performers from around the world. Musicians and artists from different genres and cultures will meet one another, exchange ideas and experiences and develop new musical collaborations. A wide range of audiences and communities will experience music in the same intimate setting. This will be a musical meeting place, a locus of creativity and a vital new urban facility.
Long-time music lovers in Vancouver remember favourite music venues of the past very well. Each one was unique; each one reeked ambience and somehow reflected its time. For every era, a classic joint emerged that was the epicenter of Vancouver’s best music: Hogan’s Alley (1920s), the Cave (1930s), Isy’s Supper Club (1960s), the Classical Joint (1970s) and the Glass Slipper (1990s). All are gone now. A dedicated and dynamic new Music Centre in Vancouver would both honour and build on this rich legacy.
For today’s musicians, for today’s audiences, this could be the venue that defines our time.