All Citizens

Defunct Prairies art gallery and music venue releases book

All Citizens, an ex-Bruno, SK arts cafe, launches book and CD

One of Saskatchewan’s most unique music venues and art galleries, All Citizens – located in the town of Bruno (population 600), is the subject of a new book released by Conundrum Press.

Although the prairies landmark is now defunct, All Citizens left behind a rich, albeit brief, history of lively and intimate concerts, including the much beloved Julie Doiron Day, which occurs on June 7.

Much of that history has been captured in the book All Citizens, which includes work from artist Serena McCarroll and the time she spent in Bruno.

“The book includes my thesis project, which focused on three women living in and around Bruno. They’re all super fascinating,” says McCarroll, who now lives in Toronto.

(For a preview of McCarroll’s work click HERE)

All Citizens was founded back in 2007, when McCarroll and Tyler Brett moved from Vancouver with the idea of starting over in a obscure community. They two set up a shop in a repurposed building, which housed a café and art shop.

Although All Citizens is now defunct Brett now runs the Bruno Arts Bank, which has taken up the cause of hosting live concerts in the town.

And with the book’s recent launch at Montreal’s Expozine, McCarroll explains that it was a series of serendipitous events that pushed the book into existence.

“It happened slowly, but was in the works for a few years,” says McCarroll. “It started after a gallery asked me to do an installation in southwestern Manitoba in 2009. I had been writing a blog about living in Bruno and I had done a print version of the blog and made it into a mini-book.

“Andy Brown of Conundrum Press saw the book at the gallery and bought it – he was one of the only people to actually buy it,” recalls McCarroll. “Later we had met at a Toronto Comic Arts Festival (TCAF) and connected over that.

“It was just one of those things.”

Also included with the book is a live CD of folk trio Daniel, Fred and Julie – an indie rock super group of sorts featuring the same Julie of Julie Doiron Day fame – whose set at All Citizens had been recorded by McCarroll.

“By a weird coincidence we got to know Julie’s manager,” says McCarroll. “They were really good about it. Once we tracked them down that is. They had broken up at that point and were all in different places at that point.”

Although a Toronto book launch is planned for mid-December there is no word, yet, on if there will be a Saskatchewan launch.

Nevertheless, you can find out more about the book by visiting Conundrum Press, or by watching the nifty video below.

[vimeo 53447891 w=600]