Those of you who are loyal readers of this page – yes, all 20 of you – know a frequent topic of discussion here is the woeful lack of venues in town in this day and age, versus venues aplenty ten years ago. We all got hyped when The Royal On Baker “partially reopened”, but alas, it was not to be, and perhaps for a few reasons, that was for the best.
Finally, some good news, and it’s tangible – work has begun on the building at 198 Baker St., purchased by the Shambhala Music Festival. If you walk or drive by there, you can see a few work trucks parked outside and equipment being used, apparently cleaning up the basement brickwork.
While the entire building renovation will take at least a year and a half, minimum, it’s positive progress to regain one or two new venues in town, and most importantly, it’s being run by people who understand Nelson and the Kootenays. I’ve lived here long enough to have seen ”out-of-towners” arrive here, wanting to exert their will and style and – gasp! – sometimes New Country music devotion upon us, and fail miserably in their endeavours. While I would never fault ambition, our town, and our scene is unique, and I think one has to work within it, rather than try to bend it to suit.
The Bundschuh Clan are Kootenay folk, they get it, they’ve got deep pockets, and good hearts. While their entire vision for this new space is unclear, their credibility and success isn’t, and I can’t wait to see and hear what they have planned for the end of Baker St. in the near future….