Posts Tagged ‘Tranzac Club’

Tranzac Club: an oral history – EYE (11.17.10)

December 12, 2010

Australian expat club, folkie coffeehouse, Caravan site, Fringe Festival venue and a hotbed for Toronto’s punk and avant-garde music community — Tranzac Club has been meant many different things to many different people. These are their stories

Walking past the Tranzac Club, you’d be unlikely to peg it as an iconic hub for Toronto arts and music. The tucked-away building on Brunswick Street just south of Bloor — kitty corner to the uber-rowdy Brunswick House — had previously housed an industrial dry-cleaners in the 1950s. Inside, it boasts all the charm of a basement rec room — mismatched tables and chairs, the odd threadbare sofa and shadowy lighting.

Yet, since 1967, the Tranzac Club has fostered countless notable Toronto artists, actors and musicians — including many who have gone on to international acclaim, like Owen Pallett (a.k.a. Final Fantasy) and Fucked Up. A not-for-profit space that runs on membership fees, meagre beer sales and volunteerism, the Tranzac has a long tradition of celebrating music and art that’s not necessarily commercially viable. When word went out recently that the Tranzac, under threat of closing, was kicking off an “emergency fundraising campaign,” we took it as an opportunity to celebrate the venue’s rich history — before it becomes history.
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