Upstairs Lounge thrives as music venue

Take a walk, enjoy a show

Friday nights this fall the Sports View Lounge transforms to a magical Oak Bay music venue – Upstairs Lounge.

Recreation Oak Bay ventured into the music scene last fall, and with the success of seven concerts through to the spring, they’re offering a second series with the opening act slated for Sept. 27, the only Saturday show in this series.

“We didn’t know how the venue would work,” said Janet Barclay, manager, recreation program services. “People have said to me, ‘I can walk here and have a glass of wine.’ And it doesn’t go too late.”

Audience numbers ranged from 35 to beyond 100 during last season’s concerts. Performances tend to start at 7:30 p.m. and generally wind up before 10 p.m. but concert goers are starting to make a night of it, arriving for dinner at 6 p.m. prompting chef Donna Daglish to create dinner specials alongside the usual fare.

The concept came up in conversation with patrons and residents during the official community plan review, where municipal leaders heard a desire for more cultural activities in Oak Bay.

“Also, I think there’s a need city-wide for smaller music venues,” Barclay said.

The rec manager turned to Marie Bachand, well known in the Greater Victoria music scene, to make the connections for concerts.

“They’ve been so entrenched in the music scene in Victoria, they’re in the know,” Barclay said.

Bachand is mom to popular local performers Celtic music duo Qristina and Quinn Bachand. The young pair perform together and often collaborate with other well-known jazz and Celtic performers.

Bachand and her husband Adrian bring all their gear, lights, sound and stage and set up for the Upstairs Lounge shows.

“We talked a long time ago about collaborating with Oak Bay … we finally met again last year,” said Bachand. “The lounge upstairs is totally under-utilized and it’s a great space. It’s a perfect situation, it’s a relaxed atmosphere, it’s an all-ages venue so people bring their kids. The possibilities are endless.”

Upstairs Lounge Live Music Series creates a transformation in the venue also embraced by the staff, Barclay said.

“That place transforms. It is a live music venue on those nights,” she said. “We’ve flipped a switch and we’re a different place.

“We wanted to make it world class community entertainment.”

Folk group Red Moon Road hails from Winnipeg and starts the season that includes a mix of genres.

“We’ve mostly focused on local bands, but this season we’ve got three bands coming from out of town,” Bachand said. “Other than those three, we’re also wanting to promote local talent.”

Pint & Dale from Seattle is on stage Oct. 17 and The Crooked Brothers of Winnipeg perform Nov. 28.

Local acts include Groove Kitchen (Oct. 24), Louise Rose and Friends (Nov. 7) and the Maureen Washington Quartet (Dec. 12).

Red Moon Road performs Sept. 27. Tickets for all shows are $12 in advance at Ivy’s Bookshop and Oak Bay Recreation or at beaconridgeproductions.com online. Tickets are $15 at the door.

 

Just Posted

420 celebrations turn over new leaf at B.C. legislature

Cannabis is legal for the first time in the 21-year existence of the 420 event in Victoria

VIDEO: ‘Stewie the Starfish’ mascot revealed at Premier League kickoff party

Pacific FC kickoff party scores in Victoria Inner Harbour

Victoria cannabis dispensaries are busy in their first days of legal operation

The Cloud Nine Collective and The Original FARM opened their doors on April 15

Report calls on Saanich to expand multicultural programming at recreation facilities

Report also notes that Saanich could do more for sexual minorities.

WATCH: Movie star and PACE alum Calum Worthy talks musical theatre and his career

“American Vandal” and “Austin and Ally” actor has been returning to the program for over 20 years

POLL: How often does your family use BC Ferries?

Navigating the lineups for BC Ferries is a way of life for… Continue reading

Crime Stoppers most wanted for Greater Victoria for the week of April 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Most Read