Local Vancouver, Canada Music Scene
The local music scene of Vancouver, British Columbia, overlaps with the Pacific Northwest region of the United States, particularly the Seattle music scene. Many British Columbia acts play regularly in the state of Washington and vice versa. The two regions have very similar characteristics with respect to being international trade centers, which accounts for multicultural tastes. Some of the notable acts in the region have been Bryan Adams, Jim Vallance, Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, Prism, Chilliwack, the Poppy Family, Matthew Good, Econoline Crush and Delirium. Bachman-Turner Overdrive from Winnipeg played in Vancouver frequently on their rise to rock stardom. Tegan and Sara moved from Calgary to Vancouver. Loverboy also started in Calgary and relocated to Vancouver. Many Seattle acts have played in Vancouver as their second home.
Despite many years of fun times throughout the city's history, economics pressures have caused a tightening of the local scene in Vancouver. Rising rent caused the announcement in September 2013 of the closure of The Hive Creative Labs, an independent recoding studio where many homegrown talent have recorded. The studio has been home to familiar acts such as Japandroids, Black Mountain, Dan Mangan, Lady Hawk and Yukon Blonde. The Hive was run by Colin Stewart and Jesse Gender. The studio was built by the cousin of Jimi Hendrix.
A viable starting point for the history of Vancouver music that remains memorable is the 1960s when The Collectors made their mark. The later became better known as Chilliwack, headed by Bill Henderson. In the early 1980s they had big hits such as "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)" and "I Believe." Bassist Ab Bryant also played in Prism. Loverboy and Bryan Adams became two of the top acts in Vancouver music history, both racking up a string of big hits. By the 1990s Barenaked Ladies had become the top act from the area. Others who gained attention and airplay in the 1990s included Moist, Strapping Young Lads and Devin Townsend. In the 21st century Nickelback, originally from Alberta, has been the leading band who developed in the region, as they have gone on to sell millions of units worldwide. Other success stories from Vancouver have been Jakalope featuring folk singer Katie Rox and Bob Rock, who turned producer after singing with the Payolas.
The city has been elevated by filmmakers, which is how it developed the nickname "North Hollywood." Bryan Adams has made North Vancouver his home all along. Much of the sound that permeates from the local scene has an organic sound. While it's far-fetched that an indie artist is going to sell a million downloads through any limited promotional vehicle, the notion of going from local to international on a smaller scale seems possible if certain conditions are met. One of the most important events for presenting organic music is the Vancouver Folk Music Festival in July.
Numbers are fun to play with, especially when it comes to possibilities about the future if certain things happen. For Vancouver music to go international, it really only needs to develop a few thousand loyal fans around the world. Some of the local community radio stations that help expose indie music include CJSF (90.1 FM), CFRO (100.5 FM), CITR (101.9 FM) and Evolution 107.9 (BCIT). These stations cater to audiences of eclectic tastes, which is very important for artists whose music might defy music industry categorization. Other stations that might consider local music include 102.7 The Peak and Shore 104.
Vancouver has a very laid back vibe and is not quite as vibrant as Seattle as far as the music scene. But it's still a huge international city that attracts tourists from all over the world, which makes it an important place for nurturing organic talent. Some of the best venues for up and coming bands include Cobalt, Media Club, Railway Club and Jericho Folk Club. Important music festivals throughout the year include the Vancouver International Jazz Festival, Water's Edge Festival, Music Waste and Virgin Festival. The Beatles played an historic Vancouver show in 1964.