For the record, we still think Soundscapes or Sonic Boom should have taken the trophy last time. In CBC Radio 3‘s inaugural edition of Searchlight last year, an infant store from Prince George, B.C. claimed the prize for Best Record Store in Canada. But this was clearly pre-ordained―in Prince George, a town of about eighty thousand in the northern abyss of a province known best for its bud, it’s only natural that hordes of bored (and potentially stoned) music fanatics would rally together to vote for their one and only vinyl shop, Meow Records, a shop already adored for surviving a flood and forming an all-girl roller derby team. Record-loving Torontonians, however, must have been divided amongst the city’s divine selection, deciding to act on the virtues of fairness so that none of our wonderful vinyl depots would feel left out. We understand.
Here at Torontoist, we’re not jealous folk. We don’t hold grudges. We seek only to congratulate the west-coast kids on their big win. That is, to congratulate, and then crush them in the next competition―and this year’s is one where we know they stand no chance.
Although the greatest concert hall ever and shoo-in for best national venue is ineligible (with a seating capacity of 2,753, it exceeds the max 1,000-person capacity set by Searchlight rules), we’ve still got the nation’s best arsenal of rooms, pubs, clubs, and halls set for live music. They’re loaded with history, and are regular hosts to the best artists from Canada and the rest of the world―and they’re all easy contenders in CBC Radio 3’s hunt for the Best Live Music Club in Canada.
Let’s scroll through the multitude of musical options (and if we skip a few of the perennial faves, it’s okay; nominations are up to you in the end). On the table, we have: the obvious hub of everything rock north of Memphis, The Horseshoe Tavern. We have the dark walls and eerie atmosphere of Lee’s Palace. The architecture and perfect echo of the Opera House. The casual, yet classy feel at The Rex. The cool Spanish kitsch of the El Mocambo. The crystal-clear acoustics and sheer intimacy of Kool Haus (cough, cough).
Need we say more? We’ve got it made. But just like in politics, having the goods doesn’t always guarantee victory. And in a friendly democracy like Canada, there’s only one way to announce the winner of a brutal duel―the egalitarian e-mail poll.
Though nominations started yesterday, there’s no need to get your knickers in a knot―the ballot box will be open ’till midnight next Wednesday. A series of votes will narrow the contestants to twenty, ten, and finally, five before the winner is proclaimed on February 25. Have your say (in support of this city, we hope) with an email to [email protected]. Alongside the right to rub it in across the country, the winning club gets a live concert presented by CBC Radio 3, a Sirius satellite radio with subscription, the obligatory CBC 3 promo clothes, and of course, a winning plaque and trophy.
It’s rare that we beg around Torontoist. But for a cause like this, it’s justifiable. We know we’ve got at least ten venues to trump anything in Prince George―and now, it’s just a matter of proving it.