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SUBCULTURE: OCTOBER 2013

Monday 30th, September 2013 / 19:15

SUBCULTURE_OCT_byWENDY13wendy13-e13413739727751I had really hoped that the public outrage over the new labour market opinion [LMO] fees would carry more weight than it has … Jason Kenney doesn’t seem to give a shit at all … That being said, I’m sure Stephen Harper doesn’t care either, even with nearly 137 thousand signatures opposing those changes … I personally find it outrageous that musicians are lumped in with mine workers from China with multi-billion dollar corporations behind them…

The problem I see is that the musical hosts with the most clout are not affected by these changes … The corporate music promoters will just absorb the fees, if they even apply to them and carry it over to the consumer … Let’s not forget they also work through mostly exempt venues that don’t require the LMO … So if you’re an arena, theatre or cabaret, you seem to be off the shitlist…

Who this new legislation really affects of course, is the little guy … The small pub, transformed skid bar or restaurant trying to stay afloat by attracting more customers with live acts … Or how about the independent promoter trying to have a bigger show than local ones bring, once in a while … We need these shows as they draw a wider audience … It’s a show like that every six weeks that is make or break on the bottom line of the non-exempt venue … These types of bars rely on the live music events to see them through…

“I think what really needs to happen is that all live music venues need to be exempt … The exemption criteria is void if they ‘make money’ other then just off the live event … In that case, I can definitely attest that most bars are losing money just to stay open in the day hours attributed to their liquor licenses…”

As a matter of fact when I ran the Cobes, the liquor license was from 11 a.m. … It wasn’t worth the hassle to even stay open, losing money on staffing and product cost, let alone the cleanup … The cesspool activities that type of D.T.E.S. customer brought in was outrageous and very wild west…

There were some pretty terrifying hardships experienced to establish the scene back in the day … Drug dealers attempting to ply their trade … Drug users plugging your toilets with rigs … Hookers turning tricks in an unprotected sound booth … Crooked hotel placed pimps running our tills during the shows … Violent strung out junkies trying to rob someone … Stolen goods peddlers harassing the old guys … Sketchy dudes flashing guns to my doorman … Junkies scooching in after cover ended to try to steal people’s shit … Inside job robberies executed by the hotel staff … We had bats behind the bar … So I actually chose to just close in the day in order to extricate that type of client from the bar … Still, even then, I wouldn’t have been seen as an exempt venue because of the type of liquor license the bar held …

This has to change … The way I see it, back in the day, we did a better job than the police and local government to clean up the Cobalt and the Astoria that makes them the viable, yet non-exempt venues they are today … The ‘man’s’ solution was to shut them down like the majority of the bars that used to exist in the D.T.E.S. … We have now also turned the corner on Funky Winkerbeans…

Apparently, an online petition means nothing to the powers that be … I have yet to see a physical one appear that I would happily collect signatures for … Will someone step up to set that in motion? Until then, keep bending over, music lovers of Canada…

By wendythirteen

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