Music and theatre aficionados on Elgin St. will have a new venue to haunt come May 1st.
Sunday marked a mayoral visit and the ground-breaking ceremony for Live on Elgin, a 120-person music venue that seeks to fill Elgin’s live venue need and help the artists coming through.
Jon Evenchick, the founder of Live on Elgin, began his experience in the music business a t as a teenager, playing in a band in high school. Since then, he’s remained involved in the community, most notably as part of Ottawa Music Bus, a non-profit organization that helps artists with planning and promoting shows, collecting royalties, and whatever else the artists need.
Now, Evenchick is ready to contribute in another way.
“I always wanted to open a music venue,” says Evenchick. “At first, I was looking into a medium-sized venue, like a music hall that can hold up to 400 people standing, which is something we don’t have in Ottawa (that are viable for touring artists).”
However, despite the initial desire for a larger venue, Evenchick chose a smaller venue that would help keep costs down for artists and theatre companies to rent out.
The focus of Live on Elgin is very much the betterment of local artists and the community at large, with no expenses for artists putting on a show.
“(Live on Elgin will) help the arts community in Ottawa hone their craft, give them a place to perform and earn a few bucks while they’re doing it,” says Lawrence Evenchick, Jon’s father, business partner and mainstay in the Ottawa theatre community.
“I think it gives artists and performers more option,” says Mayor Watson. “It’s something that really adds to our quality of life and it’s one of the reasons we’re constantly ranked high in quality of life when it comes to trying to attract people and talent to live and work in Ottawa. They want to have these kinds of venues, they want that cultural experience. It’s not just about work.”
But what about the food?
“We were also able to secure a deal with Dunn’s where they will provide the food for the patrons,” said Evenchick. “So anybody there seeing a play or a comedy act can order from a limited Dunn’s menu.”