Local Losers is no longer a physical space in Vernon offering art supplies and a venue for musicians to perform, but true to owner Noah MacLeod’s intentions upon announcing its June 1 closure, the brand is still bringing live music to local audiences.
Local Losers has partnered with the Vernon Towne Theatre to present a pair of live music nights at the theatre this month. Victoria-based psychedelic funk band Neighbourly will take the stage with Kamloops-based psychedelic indie band Mother Sun on Saturday, June 17. Vancouver group Petunia and the Vipers will bring their bluegrass, retro-swing sound to the theatre on Friday, June 23.
The Towne Theatre offers a space that’s much bigger than the former Local Losers studio on 30th Avenue, with a newly renovated stage and more sophisticated equipment.
“They have a really amazing sound setup, they’ve got a great stage in there and they’re building the infrastructure to host events more regularly and do it really well,” MacLeod said. “The approach we took previously with Local Losers was it was very much an underground small music venue. It was tons of fun and it was amazing but it was cramped and sweaty, and all over the place, so I’m super excited to be working with them where they have a really well put together listening venue.”
MacLeod says it’s exciting to be offering live music shows with the Towne Theatre for the first time, and to see Local Losers reinvent itself, as it’s done continuously since its inception.
When MacLeod started Local Losers in high school, it was simply a brand that made custom apparel. When he opened up a studio in 2021, it became known as a retail space. Then, after pairing the work of visual artists with musicians, Local Losers became well known for its live music and events in a city generally lacking in music venues.
“It’s been really interesting to bring Local Losers through all these transitory periods where it kind of grows from one thing into another thing and it changes, and this current process is really exciting because I think with leaving our brick and mortar shop there’s a lot of opportunities,” he said.
MacLeod also divulged that another physical Local Losers space could be in the cards, but with a different model than last time.
“I’m kind of planning to potentially open up another space as maybe an artist cooperative or maybe a not-for-profit,” he said. “I’ve been working on that for a little while and then we can kind of have a few opportunities to engage with the community in different ways and support it better maybe than a business could.”
He says that cooperative is “in the works,” but wants to let the next couple months of live shows at the Towne Theatre play out before taking the next step.
“We have a really amazing community and so we’ve been working with them and kind of scheming and planning amongst ourselves and seeing where we want things to go in the future and how best to be involved in the arts community still and keep a presence.”
Tickets for the June 23 show can be purchased at the towne.ca.