Its brick exterior is a tad unassuming at first.
The faded awning, which once held a symbol for Canada’s Conservative party, shelters the small stretch of sidewalk in front while a line of vinyl records dangles, offering a hint of what lies inside the doors.
What was formerly a restaurant (KT’s and later Billy D’s), and the campaign quarters for Conservative and now local MP Mel Arnold, when he ran in the last federal election, is now home to Vernon’s own vintage vinyl shop Record City.
Located formerly at what was once Eclectibles (across from the Towne Theatre), the store moved to its current location at the north-east corner of 30th Avenue and 32nd Street this summer.
Record City not only buys, sells and trades a wide selection of new and used records, CDs, cassettes, instruments, stereo and audio equipment and more, it has become the city’s newest live music space.
“We lucked out with this space, especially with our lease,” said Sian Macleod, Record City’s own music maven, who books most of the shows in the store’s 3,900 square-foot space.
“The owner of the building is a massive vinyl collector, so when he heard what we were going to be doing here, he was really supportive.”
Numerous local and visiting artists have performed at the venue since Record City moved to its new location. There have also been open mic nights, jams, electronic music dances, metal and hard core nights, which have been open to all ages and accessible for those in wheelchairs.
Record City is next gearing up for its inaugural holiday show, New New Year’s, Dec. 30.
Headlining is Vancouver-based yodelling cowboy Petunia and his band The Vipers, who will perform their hillbilly, boogie, western swing, ‘30s and ‘40s jazz and original instrumentals.
Petunia and The Vipers were one of the first acts to play at Record City’s new venue, said Macleod.
“They are an unreal western Canadian legendary lineup, bringing their sizzling brand of old-time swing, country blues and jazz numbers to have the whole room moving and shaking,” she said.
The store is also bringing in a full-on menagerie of ragtime musicians from all the province to open for Petunia.
Macleod will join her partner in music Meghan May in their duo, Mice in the Honey Bucket, while Record City regulars Chicken-like-Birds and Good Golly, featuring couple Kale and Miss Molly, will also perform.
Also opening is Tidal Baby, a Vernon-based ‘60s surf rock act featuring Connor Whiskin on lead guitar, Jim Lagerquist on bass, and Daniel Green on drums.
“They are a super authentic band with wet guitar tones and licks for those who like to shred,” said Macleod.
The New New Year’s event is part of a fundraiser to make the venue more user-friendly, added Macleod.
“Most of the fundraiser, in general, is for all sectors of building, and there are three factors we especially want to improve,” she said. “We want to make the awning prettier for Vernon to find us easier. The other side is the stage, to install full lighting and an electronic setup. We need to get more power for the stage.”
The third part is to start a full-service café.
“We have two-to-three young women who want to pioneer a catering business out of our space. They are all young people in the community and we want to help get them into the facility,” said Macleod.
Those who donate towards the fundraiser (a jar is set up at the front of the store) can enter to win two tickets for the Petunia show, which includes drink tickets and appetizers.
The draw will take place Saturday, Dec. 24.
Tickets for Record City’s New New Year’s event are $25, available now at the store.
For more information and a lineup of events, visit Record City’s Facebook page or call 250-503-0038.