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  #10301  
Old Posted May 4, 2021, 9:03 PM
MeEtc MeEtc is offline
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Originally Posted by someone123 View Post
There is the project in the old WTCC space but I believe it's in the same size, and presumably acoustic, ballpark as existing venues.
That is more of a TV production studio, 22 Minutes is being filmed there now. Rebecca Cohn is still much bigger.
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  #10302  
Old Posted May 4, 2021, 9:52 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Many years ago there was a push for a larger performing arts centre in Halifax (I think it might have been called Nova Centre). It's interesting in that, aside from covid, I am not sure the demand has dropped and the city has grown more but a project like that seems to have fallen off the radar. Roy Thompson Hall is an example of this type of venue.

There is the project in the old WTCC space but I believe it's in the same size, and presumably acoustic, ballpark as existing venues.
There was some talk of a performance venue in the WTCC initially, but it sounds like it didn't pan out.

It has perplexed me a little that Halifax hasn't had an additional performance venue somewhere between the size of the Scotiabank Centre (in which the acoustics are really not good) and the Cohn. I thought that the new arts centre proposed for the waterfront was supposed to have a theatre suitable for the symphony to play in, but don't recall if the recent proposals included such a space (haven't read about it in a while).
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  #10303  
Old Posted May 5, 2021, 2:38 PM
eastcoastal eastcoastal is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
... I thought that the new arts centre proposed for the waterfront was supposed to have a theatre suitable for the symphony to play in, but don't recall if the recent proposals included such a space ...
I don't think the art gallery includes a performance space of this type.

Cohn is nice acoustically, but there are limits to the types of theatrical performances that can be hosted due to limited wings and no flye towers. I understand that Neptune has these things, but that it's pretty small.
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  #10304  
Old Posted May 5, 2021, 3:30 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by eastcoastal View Post
I don't think the art gallery includes a performance space of this type.

Cohn is nice acoustically, but there are limits to the types of theatrical performances that can be hosted due to limited wings and no flye towers. I understand that Neptune has these things, but that it's pretty small.
I believe I was remembering a news blurb introducing the idea of a waterfront arts centre from several years ago - a concert hall/performance venue was part of the concept at the time. It's too bad it didn't make it into the final cut.

I've seen mostly musical acts (and some comedy/variety shows) at the Cohn, and have always been happy with its layout and acoustics - there doesn't seem to be a bad seat in the house. I've also seen some theatre at Neptune and have also been impressed with the layout (not that I'm enough of a theatre buff to be able to discern a good one from a bad one), but yes, it's somewhat small.

There are other good, smaller places to see musical acts in the city, one of the best being the Carleton, in terms of quality of act and service, plus they put quite a lot of effort into the sound system. Being located in a building that was constructed in 1760 gives it a nice ambience, but also seems to have limiting factors in terms of layout, which is a little tight (in non-covid times), but OK.

There are other venues, like the Marquee, that are OK if you like standing in the middle of a group of drunk people for the entire act (in non-covid times...lol), but I'm enjoying this configuration less and less these days. The Casino NS basically uses a room that could just as easily host a convention or wedding reception for its concerts, which is far less than ideal.

Scotiabank Centre will hold concerts in 1/4 or 1/2 of the arena, which is OK, but the acoustics have never been good there - the old joke used to be that the music stopped about 10 minutes after the band finished playing...

So really, aside from not having a good medium sized music venue (or a good large-sized one, for that matter) between the size of the Cohn and the SC, there are very few really good smaller venues in Halifax as well (IMHO), unless I'm forgetting something. That said, a waterfront facility wouldn't really have the space for a venue of that size, nor would it likely be able to accommodate parking for such an event. However, if I'm reading your comment correctly, it sounds like there is a need for a good medium sized venue for theatre.

Perhaps it's not as much as a factor nowadays, since the music industry changed (when people started getting music for free over the internet vs paying for it in a record/cd shop), as there doesn't seem to be as many musical acts touring to smaller venues, as compared to say, the 1980s, when every week there would be a new upcoming band paying their dues by travelling the country and appearing in venues like the Misty Moon, or some similar small stage to get the word out that they were worth listening to (and buying their albums... lol).

Of course, now being over a year into all of this having gone away seems to make it feel a little more poignant...
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  #10305  
Old Posted May 5, 2021, 4:08 PM
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  #10306  
Old Posted May 5, 2021, 9:03 PM
MeEtc MeEtc is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
unless I'm forgetting something.
The only other live theatre venues around are Spatz at Citadel High (780 seat), Light House Studios performance hall (22 Minutes studio in old WTCC)(760 seat/1150 standing), Bella Rose at Halifax West (600 seat), Fountain Hall at Neptune (458 seat), Alderney Landing (285 seat), and Lilian Piercey at Maritime Conservatory (200 seat)
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  #10307  
Old Posted Yesterday, 12:58 AM
Dartguard Dartguard is online now
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Originally Posted by MeEtc View Post
The only other live theatre venues around are Spatz at Citadel High (780 seat), Light House Studios performance hall (22 Minutes studio in old WTCC)(760 seat/1150 standing), Bella Rose at Halifax West (600 seat), Fountain Hall at Neptune (458 seat), Alderney Landing (285 seat), and Lilian Piercey at Maritime Conservatory (200 seat)
So by that catalogue of assets Dartmouth Marks comments are more relevant. The City needs a venue that can hold 1500-3000. I too thought there were plans to develop a permanent home for the N.S. Symphony that could be used for other paying acts on the Waterfront. A friend of mine at Lydon Lynch has proposed a large parking facility underneath the old Ralston site to coincide with what ever gets built there. That and Metro park could handle well over 1000 parked cars.
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  #10308  
Old Posted Yesterday, 2:17 AM
Hali87 Hali87 is offline
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The Cunard Centre sort of fills the gap between the Cohn and the Scotiabank Centre, for music, although it doesn't have an orchestra pit or anything. I think the capacity is somewhere in the range of 2-5000 (depending on configuration). Not a true concert hall by any means, but the acoustics are better than the Scotiabank Centre (or Forum MPR). There's also the casino, I'm not sure of the capacity.

Live theatre is a bit different from live music and auditorium-type setups are usually optimized for one or the other, but not necessarily both. The Cohn is definitely more music-oriented, Neptune is more theatre-oriented. There's also the Dunn Theatre and Pond Playhouse which are theatre-oriented, although they're both smaller than Neptune (probably about 100 seats each).
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  #10309  
Old Posted Yesterday, 3:43 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by MeEtc View Post
The only other live theatre venues around are Spatz at Citadel High (780 seat), Light House Studios performance hall (22 Minutes studio in old WTCC)(760 seat/1150 standing), Bella Rose at Halifax West (600 seat), Fountain Hall at Neptune (458 seat), Alderney Landing (285 seat), and Lilian Piercey at Maritime Conservatory (200 seat)
Thanks for the rundown. I don't recall hearing of many performances (pre-covid times) open to the public in any of those venues except Neptune, though that could just be that I hadn't looked hard enough.
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  #10310  
Old Posted Yesterday, 3:54 AM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Hali87 View Post
The Cunard Centre sort of fills the gap between the Cohn and the Scotiabank Centre, for music, although it doesn't have an orchestra pit or anything. I think the capacity is somewhere in the range of 2-5000 (depending on configuration). Not a true concert hall by any means, but the acoustics are better than the Scotiabank Centre (or Forum MPR). There's also the casino, I'm not sure of the capacity.

Live theatre is a bit different from live music and auditorium-type setups are usually optimized for one or the other, but not necessarily both. The Cohn is definitely more music-oriented, Neptune is more theatre-oriented. There's also the Dunn Theatre and Pond Playhouse which are theatre-oriented, although they're both smaller than Neptune (probably about 100 seats each).
I've been to the Cunard Centre for several events, but it's not really what I think of for a music venue. To me it's just an open space where a stage can be placed and people can stand around and listen... though I suppose in concept it's not much different than the Marquee, and that is considered a music venue. When I'm thinking of a larger venue, I'm hoping for something with stadium seating and a layout plus acoustics that are optimal for musical performances.

The Casino has been marginally better, as at least they tend to have seating and the stage is raised above floor level for better-than-nothing viewing from the rear half of the venue, but IMHO, you really need stadium seating for it to be considered a 'nice' venue.
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  #10311  
Old Posted Yesterday, 11:11 AM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Scotiabank Centre will hold concerts in 1/4 or 1/2 of the arena, which is OK, but the acoustics have never been good there - the old joke used to be that the music stopped about 10 minutes after the band finished playing...
I have to respectfully disagree. That may have been true in its earliest years (a washed-out, echoey Stevie Ray Vaughan show there was one of my greatest disappointments; he and the audience deserved so much better). At least I was able to catch him once before it was too late...

But after baffles were hung from the ceiling the acoustics improved hugely and I’ve seen lots of shows there with no sound complaints whatsoever. It’s not Cohn-quality sound, but arenas are not concert halls and our expectations have to be tempered. As 12,000-seat hockey rinks go, I think its sound is actually very good.

Quote:
...the 1980s, when every week there would be a new upcoming band paying their dues by travelling the country and appearing in venues like the Misty Moon, or some similar small stage to get the word out that they were worth listening to (and buying their albums... lol).
The loss of large clubs like the Misty Moon (particularly when it was on Kempt) and The Palace, though completely understandable, has left a hole in the inventory of venues. The Moon in those days held over a thousand and attracted many big names, along with the up-and-coming that you mentioned. The Palace wasn’t quite as large, but once it got past the unfortunate disco era that spawned it, it became a really excellent place to hear a rock band - about, oh, a thousand times better than the casino.

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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
The Casino has been marginally better, as at least they tend to have seating and the stage is raised above floor level for better-than-nothing viewing from the rear half of the venue, but IMHO, you really need stadium seating for it to be considered a 'nice' venue.
To my taste, the casino has to be one of the worst music spaces in Halifax. I’ve seen a dozen or more shows there and although I’ve enjoyed the performers, I’ve always left disappointed with both the sound and the layout. The shows could have been so much better in a more appropriate room. As far as music is concerned, I’d characterize the Schooner Room as totally suited to high school dances (not that they actually happen there), but that would be about it.

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Originally Posted by Dartguard View Post
The City needs a venue that can hold 1500-3000
Yes, definitely, and that’s been true for decades, really.

Last edited by Saul Goode; Yesterday at 11:32 AM.
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  #10312  
Old Posted Yesterday, 2:49 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
I have to respectfully disagree. That may have been true in its earliest years (a washed-out, echoey Stevie Ray Vaughan show there was one of my greatest disappointments; he and the audience deserved so much better). At least I was able to catch him once before it was too late...
I went to one of his shows as well - it was great and to this day I appreciate that I had a chance to see him. He did two shows in Halifax, I think - do you remember?

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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
But after baffles were hung from the ceiling the acoustics improved hugely and I’ve seen lots of shows there with no sound complaints whatsoever. It’s not Cohn-quality sound, but arenas are not concert halls and our expectations have to be tempered. As 12,000-seat hockey rinks go, I think its sound is actually very good.
We can agree to disagree on this one. I noticed an improvement in sound after the baffles were hung, but I would never qualify the sound quality in that place as 'good' (however I would never consider myself to be an acoustics expert). Yeah, my 'humourous' anecdote was based on the original configuration but IMHO still applies to some extent.

That said, I still have completely enjoyed every concert I've seen there, but if we're fantasizing about some hypothetical venue that we'll never get, I want Cohn-level acoustics, or better.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
The loss of large clubs like the Misty Moon (particularly when it was on Kempt) and The Palace, though completely understandable, has left a hole in the inventory of venues. The Moon in those days held over a thousand and attracted many big names, along with the up-and-coming that you mentioned. The Palace wasn’t quite as large, but once it got past the unfortunate disco era that spawned it, it became a really excellent place to hear a rock band - about, oh, a thousand times better than the casino.
Agree.


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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
To my taste, the casino has to be one of the worst music spaces in Halifax. I’ve seen a dozen or more shows there and although I’ve enjoyed the performers, I’ve always left disappointed with both the sound and the layout. The shows could have been so much better in a more appropriate room. As far as music is concerned, I’d characterize the Schooner Room as totally suited to high school dances (not that they actually happen there), but that would be about it.
That about sums it up, but I still prefer it to a large warehouse setting. As I progress towards the state of old phartness, I less enjoy getting elbowed and having beer spilled on me by drunk people, as tends to happen in a space without assigned seating. But, yeah, the Schooner Room is just an empty room with a stage and some chairs put in place, so... not great. But I guess beggars can't be choosers, or something like that.
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  #10313  
Old Posted Yesterday, 2:58 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
I went to one of his shows as well - it was great and to this day I appreciate that I had a chance to see him. He did two shows in Halifax, I think - do you remember?
Hmmm...no, don't recall. I saw him in '88 or '89 (too lazy to look it up, but I'm thinking '89). Stray Cats opened.
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  #10314  
Old Posted Yesterday, 3:19 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Hmmm...no, don't recall. I saw him in '88 or '89 (too lazy to look it up, but I'm thinking '89). Stray Cats opened.
Yeah, that's the show that I went to (I'm thinking 1988 - I will be able to confirm if I ever find the ticket stub that I saved... "somewhere"...lol).

I seem to recall that he was in town during two different concert cycles, but info on the web is sketchy at best.
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  #10315  
Old Posted Yesterday, 3:36 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Yeah, that's the show that I went to (I'm thinking 1988 - I will be able to confirm if I ever find the ticket stub that I saved... "somewhere"...lol).

I seem to recall that he was in town during two different concert cycles, but info on the web is sketchy at best.
Okay, I tracked it down (I knew one of us would just have to...). Mr. Internet says two dates in Halifax:

5 April 1988 - Live Alive tour, with Razorback

9 August 1989 - In Step tour, with Stray Cats
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  #10316  
Old Posted Yesterday, 5:10 PM
OldDartmouthMark OldDartmouthMark is offline
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Originally Posted by Saul Goode View Post
Okay, I tracked it down (I knew one of us would just have to...). Mr. Internet says two dates in Halifax:

5 April 1988 - Live Alive tour, with Razorback

9 August 1989 - In Step tour, with Stray Cats
LOL

Thanks!
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  #10317  
Old Posted Yesterday, 5:25 PM
Saul Goode Saul Goode is offline
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
LOL

Thanks!
I'm not feeling particularly live alive today, but at least we're in step on the dates. Now we just have to stay out of the crossfire while we walk the tightrope.
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