Town Hall on Toronto’s Disappearing Music Venues Outlines Concerns

It didn’t matter that the weather was awful. More than 200 people turned up at a town hall discussion on Toronto’s disappearing music venues organized by NOW, Toronto’s alternative weekly paper. They report on what happened:

A snow storm, spring break and SXSW couldn’t stop 200 people from attending NOW’s community panel discussion on Toronto’s vanishing music venues on March 13. In the last few months, our city has seen an alarming number of closures, a crisis accelerated by the real estate boom, among many concerns. After NOW published our cover story, we received countless responses signaling an urgent desire to talk about the issues.

Moderated by NOW’s assistant entertainment editor Kevin Ritchie at the Centre for Social Innovation, the panel included TiKA Simone, musician and founder of The Known Unknown and #BAREGYAL; Shaun Bowring, owner of the Garrison, the Baby G and Transmit Presents; Anthony Greenberg, a senior planner at SvN; Spencer Sutherland, owner of Nocturne, chairman of the Queen St. West BIA and member of the Toronto Music Advisory Council (TMAC); and Erin Benjamin, executive director for Music Canada Live.

The audience included a range of diverse voices, from venue owners and promoters, to musicians and producers, city hall workers, live-music fans, music journalists and concerned citizens.

Music is Toronto’s (and therefore Canada’s) biggest cultural export. If we don’t provide places for musicians to blame, the whole scene is in danger. Keep reading the NOW article here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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