New concert hall opens in Whitehorse – Yukon News

This fall will see the opening of a new bar in a familiar spot on the downtown Whitehorse circuit, but Lefty’s Well won’t be just any watering hole.

Popping up amid a chorus of years lamenting the lack of available concert venues, this intimate roadhouse will answer that.

On September 16, the bar at 102 Wood St, formerly known as Paddy’s Place, Flippers and the Rock, to name just a few iterations, will open as Lefty’s, a live music venue and gathering place created by Taya Fraser.

Originally from East Vancouver, Fraser has worked in every corner of the entertainment industry, from booking and bartending to promoting and performing.

“I started pulling drinks out of a cupboard to seedy live music after hours,” she said of her early experiences at a Vancouver venue called Iron Road Studios, where she later started. to book shows.

In the years that followed, Fraser formed and cooperated with a booking and promotion company called Art Signified and opened Studio Vostok, a venue in Vancouver’s Chinatown. She has also toured Canada and Europe as a musician and booking agent.

These years and all the experiences that have gone into them have resulted in a diverse skill set that Fraser says will lend themselves well to running a venue and a bar.

“The space has been through so many different iterations, it has a ton of potential. The first time I walked into this room a couple of years ago, I was like, this is the space,” she said.

“I put all my experience into what works, trying to realize its full potential. I want to create a quality establishment, where me and my friends would like to go for a drink, where people will feel safe, respected and at home.

In light of the pandemic’s often devastating effects on artists and venues, Fraser believes live music and community are more important than ever.

“I want people to appreciate music again, I want to show them that live music is still worth spending your money on. Lefty’s is here to bring a community together, to show that the music community is worth investing in. I want to add and foster a community that people will want to be part of, both musicians and fans.

Live music will indeed find a new home at Lefty’s, with full three-band bills already booked for most weekends in the coming months. This format is important to Fraser, as she feels it provides a higher quality experience for audiences, as well as a space for less experienced musicians to share the stage with more experienced counterparts. This will provide cross-pollination opportunities within the music community, and Fraser hopes to see new bands emerge from the woods.

“There are bands I’ve never seen or heard of that have made contact with book fairs – a lot of people think there’s no good space for them, I want change that and give them a place to learn and grow,” she said. “There must be a stage for everyone. The priority is to bring people together and create something that people want to be part of.

Fraser also hopes to one day use his touring and promotional experience to bring in bands from across Canada and beyond.

Weekday programming is also already underway, with trivial parties and open mics coming up, not to mention the Well Bottom Blues Jam, booked every third Tuesday of the month. This month’s blues jam will take place on September 20.

As for the bar itself, visitors can expect to peruse a music-themed drinks menu, as well as classic cocktails, local and national beers, ciders, and seltzers. Named after one of his favorite songs, “Pancho and Lefty”, originally by Townes Van Zandt, Lefty’s represents the realization of a long held dream for Fraser.

“I’m very overwhelmed but really excited to be able to use my experience to create something cool,” she said. “I’m excited to work for myself and create a fun team and environment and a fun, cozy place where people really want to hang out.

“I am a simple person. I want to make drinks, throw a good party, I want people to have fun and go away thinking, “That was a really fun time. So come drink, rejoice, have fun and go home!

Lefty’s Well opening night is September 16, featuring local bands Franklin, the Bleeders and Mr. Bigly. The following night features locals Antarticus and The Follower, with a visit from Skagway’s black metal band Polemicist.

Any performers wishing to book the stage are encouraged to email [email protected]

Willow Gamberg owns Road Dogs Music Supply and The Lab Rehearsal studios in downtown Whitehorse. Gamberg is professionally affiliated with Taya Fraser in the latter venture.

Lefty’s Well takes its name from a song by Townes Van Zandt. The logo was designed by Whitehorse tattoo artist Kirsty Wells. (Submitted)

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