As I’m repeatedly receiving messages from the ‘Save the Waldorf’ groups, I just have to chime in about this debacle…. I hastily signed one of the many petitions before I knew the all the facts … I feel like I was fleeced with the hysterically storied ‘Big Bad Condo Developer is to blame’ headline…Then bit by bit the real story trickled out…. The Waldorf Productions lessees were up to their necks in debt…. Three things about this whole scenario screamed huh?….ONE – How is the Waldorf after 2 1/2 years representative of the city’s ‘omnipotent’ cultural hub? … TWO – The fact that the building sale doesn’t even go through until October 2013… The new owner has stated he has no intention of demolishing the Waldorf as it’s also restricted by current non market condo City zoning ….Then the doozy for me was number THREE – That Waldorf Productions were already forgiven over 300K in rent by the current owner …. I could seriously start 3 venues with 300K…
This brings me to ask what the definition of a cultural hub really is? To me, it is an active live music venue… As far as I could tell by perusing their Georgia Straight print ads, is that the majority musical business they catered to was theme nights with resident djs…. What was the ratio of local bands that have actually played there?….
Granted, I applaud them for their Herculean effort to revive the space and invest the energy to bring the city a new venue but what about the numbers being thrown around like 1.5 million dollars in renos… I was there for the first time a couple of months ago for the ‘No Fun City’ screening and the basement bathroom toilet was definitely not gold plated or redone since the 70’s….. Did they hire the same embellishing decorators as the Federal Government seems to use where a new toilet seat costs 250 bux?
Now, I for one, totally understand the devastation you feel when you put your heart and soul into building a business …. It also really sucks, whichever way the usurping occurs that separates you from all the blood, sweat and tears your endeavour cost you … The sad realities of life set in when you watch someone else capitalize on your misfortune… Those vulturous new resident starlings will just thrash your eggs out or even devour them and settle right into your former nest…. It’s guaranteed, the current owner will find an amnesiac bird of prey for the short term which will possibly extend with the new owners also … I hope the ousted Waldorf people find somewhere to land … With all the support they seem to have within the city and potentially with the muckity mucks at City Hall, I’m sure they’ll land on their feet somewhere else….
It is possible! Especially with the giant set of purse strings these fellows seem to have had…. Now it took me a while to find a new nesting venue when I lost the Cobes… Just trying to remain an independent entity, trudging through an uphill redtape battle with bullshit zoning rejections on my shoestring DIY budget was frustrating… Luckily, I fell into Funkys, where my punk and metal eggs could continue their dozen+ year incubation …. For how long this nest will last, only time will tell … With all the gentrifying developments that are dotting the DTES and the swanky new yuppie style businesses that cater to their ilk, it does seem like a grim reality that our days are once again numbered until the next time we have to arise like the Phoenix! We’ve lost many, we’ll build more!