Canada Boy Vinyl Ramps Up

Calgary-based Canada Boy Vinyl (CBV) scored plenty of media attention last year with the news that they were planning to start a vinyl pressing plant. They officially started running the presses on Sept. 12, and we decided to get a progress report on what is currently Canada’s only such facility.

In an e-mail interview, CBV head Dean Reid answered our queries in a refreshingly candid fashion. He tells FYI “we are only running at 25% of our capacity. We need time to train staff before we can open up our second shift, then third. I’m sure we will be very busy this upcoming year.” CBV employs 14 full-time and 1 part-time workers.

Reid estimates that they’ve fulfilled close to 50 orders in their first four months of operation. “We press for everyone. Small indie 100 runs, medium size bands/labels, as well as some work for the majors.”

The fact that the Canadian dollar is nose-diving like a stalled Cessna would seem to work to CBV’s advantage, keeping Canadian artists and labels from heading south to address their pressing concerns. Reid, however, cautions that “It’s a double edged sword. Most supplies and parts we need come from the US, so it is very painful. US bands will likely find Canada as a great spot to get wax. I hope Canadians keep their business in Canada and support the home team, forever.”

Similarly, the slumping price of oil and petroleum products is not quite the boon for the company you might expect. “It still costs me a hundred bucks to fill my tank, and I already have a 6 month supply of PVC at the shop, so no, not really,” is Reid’s response.

On the more positive side, he’s pleased to note that entry level turntables were a hot Christmas seller. “It’s super cool that the junior units are snapping those babies up,” he says.

Of the plant's clients to date, Reid singles out Big Sugar’s Gordie Johnson for special mention. “He was actually in my listening room checking out his test pressings and he signed my first ever jacket with a CBV logo on the back. That was a big moment for me personally as I have loved that band since the early ‘90s,” says Reid, himself a musician, as guitarist in the band Resurrection Joe.

CBV is part of a larger production company, House of Pleasant Thoughts Productions, one owned by Reid, Patrick Jakubec, and Dillon Romney. “Patrick is our majority shareholder and president, and Dillon is my guitar player and general manager,” says Reid. “HOPTP owns the five affiliate companies: Magnetic North Studios (our in house fully analogue recording studio), Canada Boy Vinyl, Scratch the Surface Records (a record store and coffee shop), Rebel Alliance Distribution, and our record label, House of Pleasant Thoughts.”

Such diversification seems smart, given the still somewhat fragile nature of the vinyl renaissance. “We are the only pressing plant in Canada,” says Reid. “I have heard of another one that’s coming but I get bummed out when I think about it, so I try not to.”

“A wise man once told me ‘expectations can be the downfall of human existence’. I try not to have any …ever. That said, we are extremely grateful for all the interest from everyone. It really helps on those extra hard days.”



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