Increasing rent prices contribute to lack of Saskatoon jam spaces
Finding a good jam space is a hard thing to do.
Most musicians in Saskatchewan typically have few options for a rehearsal space. They can look into finding cheap commercial space in out-of-the-way locations, like the north or south-end industrials. Or they can suck up the cost of renting a house with a basement.
And while there’s nothing like living in a band house, those spaces are getting significantly harder to find.
According to statistics from the Saskatoon Housing Initiatives Partnership, home prices in Saskatoon have risen 189% in the past ten years; rental prices have gone up 61%.
Matt Hutchings, a local musician, is hoping to help bring affordable rehearsal space to Saskatoon’s music scene. Citing the philosophy of The Two Twenty, an office co-working space located in Riversdale, as inspiration, Hutchings also hopes that it will be able to accommodate the city’s growing cadre of musicians looking for rehearsal studios.
“In the spring, some people and I had started talking about a co-working recording studio/collective,” says Hutchings. “After a few meetings, we came to realize that it was not something we could afford to do at this point in time. I kept working on the idea, and came up with this: an hourly rehearsal studio and events space that could eventually fund a recording collective.”
Hutchings, who had lived in Vancouver several years ago to pursue a career in music, says that there are similar rehearsal spaces all across Canada.
“The reason I moved was because there wasn’t much for us here,” says Hutchings. “Now that I’m in a place where I can contribute I’d love to be able to provide some of that infrastructure so musicians can stay in Saskatoon.”
Hutchings says that the envisioned rehearsal studio, Hideout Studios – Rehearsal & Events, would provide space, along with backline equipment, at an hourly rate, along with a stage for events and shows.
While the space doesn’t yet exist, so far there have been several meetings between what Hutchings describes as a core group of people who hope to make the studio a viable community effort. And while he’s still attempting to iron out the logistical and financial aspects of the business, he is currently building a list of bands and musicians who are interested in using an hourly jam space.
– Featured photo from Flickr user “Voltage Studios” – Creative Commons.