Published Jan 21, 2011While the building itself may have been an operational hotel/bar for almost a century, it's only been over the past 30 years that live music venue the Cameron House (408 Queen St. West) has become a Toronto landmark.
From the ever-changing murals/sculptured ants traipsing across its facade to two eccentric rooms and a legacy of performances from notable artists such as Blue Rodeo, Ron Sexsmith, Jane Siberry, Justin Rutledge and the Barenaked Ladies, the Cameron is an institution. But new managers Cosmo Ferraro and Michael McKeown have advanced the locale's legacy by creating a record label in the venue's honour.
Dubbed Cameron House Records, the venture promises to be not only a recorded music enterprise but will endeavour to maintain the namesake alehouse's penchant for solid live entertainment, as well as band management, tour booking and a potential record store/museum on the building's second floor.
"These people play here and then they get too big for the Cameron and move on, so the idea is that we will be the ones to take them to that next step instead of someone else coming in and snatching them up," McKeown revealed in a recent interview with Inside Toronto, adding that while three artists are in their radar, no bands have officially signed on as of yet.
Still, that won't stop the official launch party taking place tomorrow (January 22) at Toronto's substantially larger Great Hall (1087 Queen St. West). Talent includes David Baxter, Jack Marks, Jadea Kelly, Run with the Kittens, and Cameron House veterans John Borra and Corin Raymond, as well as newcomers Kayla Howran and Josh Cockerill.
Advance tickets are $15 ($20 at the door), available at the Cameron House, Rotate This, Soundscapes or online here.
Here's a video of punker Steve Leckie of the Viletones covering the Velvet Undergound live at the Cameron House in 2009: