Rob Young never even considered the day when his club would no longer be a venue for promoting artists in Calgary’s burgeoning jazz music scene.
Earlier this year, Young, owner of the iconic Beat Niq Jazz and Social Club was faced with the prospect of shutting its doors after 16 years.
Buoyed by the support of over 500 new members acquired during a summer and fall membership drive, the downtown arts relic will continue to entertain thousands of music-loving Calgarians.
“(The support) was overwhelming. It’s definitely encouraging to see that not only the jazz community, but the arts community in general stepped up to the plate and showed their support for us,” said Young.
Young and a team of seven tireless volunteers were met with initial skepticism because they were a for-profit business attempting to sell memberships like a not-for-profit operation. But, a steady stream of loyal Calgarians recognized the cultural and musical significance of Beat Niq, Young said, and soon the membership swelled.
Now, the club can continue to provide home for a core group of 20 to 25 Calgary musicians to hone their skills in a live venue — and offer the opportunity to play with some world-class jazz musicians who tour the city.
What would have happened had the Beat Niq shut down?
“We would probably have lost of piece of the city’s music history,” said Young.
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