CM’s Vancouver/VIMBC Adventure – Part 1Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Andrew here, checking in courtesy of BC Ferries’ free WiFi. I’ve been out in Vancouver for the last few days and am now en-route to Victoria for the Vancouver Island Music Business Conference (VIMBC). Should be another great edition, as there are some real heavyweights out this year.
Anyhow, up until today’s ferry trip, I’ve been wandering around Yaletown and Gastown in Vancouver and dropping in to meet a bunch of people and see some sights – The Warehouse Studios, the Vancouver Musicians’ Association, UBC, and the famous Commodore Ballroom. This city as a whole is amazing, both geographically and culturally. Looking out the window of my rented condo, 22 stories up, I can see everything from the library to BC Place to the harbour to the mountains. Simply breathtaking. And everyone is incredible polite. Nobody gets off the bus without thanking the driver. The service everywhere you go is top shelf. Very much like PEI in that regard.
My first day, I ventured to the UBC campus to check out the Chan Centre for the Performing Arts, a beautiful venue for classical/world/choral music which I’m actually writing about for one of our sister publications. The room is absolutely gorgeous, and in the correct applications, sounds amazing. It was interesting speaking with Marcos, the head of audio, and Owen, the technical director, about some of the challenges they face – specifically about their location being so far from downtown that they have to ensure they stick to a specific niche with programming to actually draw people that far west.
That night, thanks to Marcos, I went to the Commodore Ballroom with an old friend from high-school to see Nashville psychedelic rock act The Black Angels and opener Hanni El Khatib. That room is also pretty impressive – a nice mix of history and chic design that seems to permanently smell of the art teacher’s room, if you catch my drift. The room sounded great. It was indeed an experience.
Yesterday, I was invited to tour Bryan Adams’ studio, The Warehouse, in Gastown. What a cool space – a revamped warehouse building in the heart of downtown. From the outside, it looks like, well, nothing. But once you go through the locked door, there’s an inside courtyard and private parking lot that leads into the main lobby, backed by a huge collection of vintage microphones.
The main room is Studio 2, with its full-of-character live room and massive Neve console in the control room. It was also cool getting to see Mike Fraser’s room, Studio 3, draped in flags and decorated with skulls. Mike’s a legend, having worked on projects by massive acts like Rush and AC/DC as well as some personal favourites like Glassjaw and, more recently, Halifax’s The Stanfields.
We’ll have more for you from VIMBC, and I’m back in VanCity for a few days next week as well with plans to visit the folks at Radial Engineering and Roland Canada. Stay tuned…