End Of An Era For Clubs In Ottawa, Vancouver

Vancouver music fans are anxious about the fate of one of the city's best and most storied live music venues, the Railway Club. It was revealed last week that the downtown venue is up for sale, so if you have 300k to spare and yearn to run a club, here's your chance (the listing is for $299,000). Built in 1931, the Railway Club started booking bands in 1981, and the list of Canadian greats to have graced its stage is mighty impressive, including Tragically Hip, k.d. lang, Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, Rheostatics, Great Big Sea, and local faves Sarah McLachlan, The Pack A.D., Spirit of the West, and Grapes of Wrath. The fact that the property is designated "business only" will hopefully encourage its continued use as a music venue.

Another storied venue feeling the winds of change is Ottawa's picturesquely-named Zaphod Beeblebrox. It was reported in local media there last week that club proprietor (since 1989) Eugene Haslam has decided to retire, and has finalized its sale (to a staffer). The good news is that Zaphod's will continue to host music. "If I'm exiting, I want to do it in a way that I can still leave this legacy to the city," Haslam told The Ottawa Sun. Notables to have played the club include Ben Harper, Alanis Morissette (who launched Jagged Little Pill there), Alejandro Escovedo, The Proclaimers, and Jeff Buckley, while The Rolling Stones once used it for a video shoot. Haslam's last day there will be Jan. 31st, and we wish him well.



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