Vive’s Jale-break

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ViveThey may have recently moved out of their venue, but vive music isn’t slowing down one bit.

Jale, which was originally known as the Caffe Sola Backroom, is no more. Its signature grassy stage and coffee bean bag backdrop will be remembered by many as one of the most unique and welcoming venues in Saskatoon.

With an epic final show on September 3, vive officially moved out of the popular downtown coffee shop on September 4. Caffe Sola is in the midst of renovations and with that change, vive promoters Phil Greer and Rich Taylor decided to make the move and regroup.

Greer said the move will push vive to keep growing, and allow them reassess their position in the local music scene.

“vive will reorganize now and with a bit of luck and a lot of work, I’m hopeful the venue will resurface in a new physical location in time for vivefest 4 in Spring 2012,” he said. “However, Jale’s end is not vive’s end. The show goes on this fall with PS I Love You at Walkers, BRAIDS, Karkwa, and Chad VanGaalen at the Roxy Theatre, as well as some house shows.”

vive began doing shows at Lydia’s Loft in March 2008, and at The Stall Gallery, at rental halls, in homes, a basement, and various other locales. The first show at Caffe Sola was held in the actual cafe in June 2009. Over the course of the next year, the organization held a number of quieter shows in the cafe.

“By June of 2010 we had moved our home base into the space that became Jale upstairs from the cafe,” said Greer. “Jale worked because the cafe is a great place with wonderful foods and coffees in an ideal location close to downtown.”

vive started as a shared dream of Greer and Taylor’s about four years ago, and the support by both artists and local music lovers has been astronomical, Greer noted.

“vive’s success can be firmly attributed to three key ingredients: quality music, attentive and engaging audiences, and a keen (and growing) volunteer base,” he said. “We couldn’t have done what we did without those three magic elements.”

Jale Grand Closing

Of course, vive couldn’t celebrate these things and complete their ‘Jale-break’ without a bang, so a final show and fundraiser for the organization was held on September 3. Around 20 acts, consisting of mostly local acts and some other performance artists entertained the partygoers into the wee hours of the morning.

These acts included: A screening of No Fun City, The Karpinka Brothers, The Sea Hags, The Shakey Elevators, Skit Skit performance, Breaker Breaker, Before and Apace, Adolyne, DJ Shakey Wilson, Miss Daily, Paper Beat Scissors (Halifax), Tovah, Zombifyus, Form, Whiskey Face (Edmonton), Pirate Fridays, Mehta and Feral Children.

“The majority of the Jale closing show consisted of local acts that have been exceedingly supportive of vive over the years,” said Greer. “Our mandate is to help grow this city’s music community, and the final show saw an amazing display of generosity and gratitude. The bill kept growing because acts wanted to get in there and do one more show on the grassy stage. The event also featured our first ever barbecue which ran for 9 hours until our full propane tank ran dry!  It was a wonderful night, an incredible party, and the perfect cap to a fabulous year. The Jale year was a truly tremendous run that we hope to continue for many years to come.”

The next was a busy day of tearing down, packing up and moving out, according to Greer.

“This move was huge in many ways,” he said. “A major physical undertaking, it took 9 hours with the help of about a dozen people to deconstruct the space and haul the parts to my house. We took apart the stage, struck the pa, and removed the walls to save the vf3 art from the wrecking ball that will strike the upper level of the building this fall.”

Greer said he thinks a move-out and shake-up will do only good things for vive.

“A change will refresh the organization,” he said. “We have a string of shows coming up, and we will take the winter to reform. Perhaps there will be a few surprises in there, the good kind! Maybe will have a new semi-permanent home shared with other local arts-based businesses and non-profits in time for the festival. vive is full of ideas right now and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with.”

— Contributed by Kathy Gallant