Not that long ago, there were zero operational pressing plants in Canada. Now new ones are popping up all over the place. The newest plant to go on line is Kaneshii Vinyl in Charlottetown, PEI. Here’s what they tell me.
Despite Canada’s mounting interest in vinyl records, the past few years have been quite the rollercoaster for the companies that produce them, first with the closure of Montreal vinyl pressing facility Rip-V in 2014, then with the slow disintegration of Calgary’s Canadian Boy vinyl at the turn of 2016/2017. This year, however, a promising, new facility has opened shop, this time in Charlottetown, PEI. Local entrepreneurs Gideon Banahene and Ghislaine Cormier have launched Kaneshii Vinyl, the first vinyl record pressing facility in Atlantic Canada, garnering enough support in the process to ensure that their company evades the pitfalls of its predecessors.
The PEI locals had been eager to launch Kaneshii since they’d first noticed the music market shift towards vinyl format sales, but it wasn’t until Cormier won $10 000 in Summerside’s 2017 Dragon’s Contest that business began in earnest. In addition to the award, Kaneshii received close to $40 000 dollars from the government of PEI and a $175 000 loan from The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.
“It’s a great feeling to have the community you work with support your business,” Cormier said in an interview with the Journal Pioneer. “We’ve been working on this project for over two years, so it’s really great to see everything come together.”
This local support, when paired with Kaneshii’s unique Maritime location, distinguish the facility from the other two vinyl pressing facilities currently operating in Canada (Precision Pressing and Microforum – both based in Ontario). Add a partnership with Viral Technologies to the mix, and Kaneshii appears to have ensured themselves a lucrative future.
Kaneshii’s state of the art facilities, coupled with classic vinyl pressing techniques, allow them to create high quality products with competitive prices and boast some of the quickest turnaround times in the industry. Their pressing machine can churn out 180 records per hour, which amounts to about 1.5 million per year, and artist can request 45s and 33s in an array of shapes and colours.
Kaneshii hopes to serve indie artists of all genres, particularly those based in Eastern Canada and the Eastern United States, and, unsurprisingly, the budding business has already gained the attention of artists in Quebec, Ontario, and fellow Maritime Provinces Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland.
Nothing is guaranteed in this digital age of music production, but between their impressive financial backing and unshakeable local support, Kaneshii Vinyl has all the makings of a permanent Canadian cultural fixture.
To learn more about Kaneshii, visit their website.