The bands are back in town.
Port Moody council approved a two-year Inlet Theatre music series in a unanimous vote Tuesday, granting an application brought forward by musicians Darlene Cooper and Bill Sample in 2021.
The series is intended to fill a cultural void caused by the Gallery Bistro fire.
That fire: “left a great hole in the music and arts community . . . particularly for musicians and music lovers,” Cooper wrote in a message to council.
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Former Gallery Bistro owner Helen Daniels spoke to council Tuesday, urging support for the series.
While council was generally enthusiastic about the idea during last December’s discussions, the one note of concern arose around rental fees.
Cooper suggested tickets would be about $25 and asked the city to waive rental fees on the theatre.
“Unless you’re volunteering your time and donating all the proceeds . . . I’m not convinced that a fee waiver is the fair or the right thing to do,” Coun. Hunter Madsen said in December.
However, the proposal was passed without council discussion Tuesday.
By waiving fees for a maximum of eight days per year, the city’s investment in the series is expected to amount to about $393 per concert.
“The sponsorship value of $393 would make a difference to the organizers, particularly in the early days,” according to a city staff report.
In order to break even, about 70 percent of the seats in the theatre would have to be sold.
Sample and Cooper proposed hosting six to nine concerts per year. They would likely have to pay full rental costs after the eighth show.
The total contribution from the city is set to be capped at $3,144 in fee waivers per year.
There is good supply of local talent, according to Sample.
“We are really rich in talent [with] no place to play,” he said when speaking to council last December. Sample touted local musicians ranging from kd lang’s drummer to Van Morrison’s bass player.
Besides the musicians, there is also an appetite for live music, he said.
“People have to travel from Port Moody to go to Coquitlam or New Westminster or Vancouver to go hear some live music. I think this would help change that,” Sample said.