Suna Studios help Vancouver’s local music scene jam on a budget

Thursday 05th, November 2015 / 17:04
By James Olson

Co-founder Rob Stewart is looking to help growth in the Vancouver music community.

Co-founder Rob Stewart is looking to help growth in the Vancouver music community.

VANCOUVER — Since 2009, Suna Studios has proved to be one of the most successful jam spaces in Vancouver. With an emphasis on community, it offers some of the best amenities and services available, for an affordable price.

Suna initially formed to meet the needs of co-founder Rob Stewart and his band, Blue & White Van. “We started Suna because we were jamming in jam spaces in town and we realized: A. there was a shortage of lockouts and B. the ones that were there we weren’t so happy with because of things like security concerns and things like that,” Stewart says. Since opening shop at their first space on Frances Street with just four rooms, Suna has expanded to two 15-room lockouts on East Pender and Odlum Drive, with construction on a third slated to begin in early 2016.

“What we’re finding, though, as we continue to do this is there are more and more people looking for space,” Stewart enthuses. “The music scene here in Vancouver is doing really well right now and it’s really cool to see. The last couple of years have seen more bands attract attention… I actually think Vancouver is ripe for a music explosion that’s gonna break out the way Seattle did 20 years ago or like Los Angeles in the ’80s. So we’re trying to see what we can do to facilitate that because, again, you have a ton of talented people that want to play music but they just don’t have places to go.”

Beyond working closely with the city to ensure legitimacy and signing long-term leases on their spaces, Suna provides their artists with opportunities to network. Thanks to an ongoing relationship with promoters such as Apocalypse Sunrise and Art Signified, Suna has been able to help maintain an ongoing presence at local festivals such as Diecember Fest, Burger Fest, and Taco Fest, and help get bands on the bill.

“My goal has always been to help in any way I can with the local music scene,” says Stewart. “I’m really excited to see where it is right now. Being a part of the musical community ourselves we want to get out there and play and go to more shows. It’s a self-perpetuating mechanism; it just keeps going and going… I can’t wait to see where it’s going to go.”

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