Published Feb 26, 2009CBC Radio 3 has announced the Best Live Music Club in Canada and the winner is - drum-roll - the Phog Lounge in Windsor, ON.
The announcement was made Wednesday (February 25) by host Grant Lawrence and comes after four weeks of intense voting, in which listeners pared 100 nominees down to 50, then 20, then ten and now to the number one club in Canada for live music.
"I couldn't be more flattered," said co-owner Tom Lucier, who owns the Phog Lounge with business partner Frank Incitti. "Frank and I are totally stunned and I couldn't be happier with what CBC Radio 3 did with all of these clubs. We all work very hard to support the same thing."
And Lucier should be flattered. This tiny club in downtown Windsor only opened up in January 2004 and, in this latest edition of CBC's Searchlight series, beat out some of Canada's best-known and respected venues, such as Toronto's Horseshoe Tavern and Vancouver's Commodore Ballroom.
"I'm very happy for the Phog Lounge and for Windsor, Ontario," said Lawrence. "It's almost a David and Goliath story. Personality, passion and charm seem to have won here, because the Phog Lounge is definitely the smallest of the nominated venues, with a capacity of only 60 people. But that hasn't stopped some of Canada's best indies from playing there - people like Joel Plaskett, Julie Doiron, Patrick Watson and Final Fantasy."
In addition to some serious bragging rights, the Phog Lounge has won a live concert presented by CBC Radio 3, a winning plaque and trophy, and several bits of CBC Radio 3 swag.
Lucier said the Phog Louge plans to throw a huge party to celebrate the win and bask in the glory that independent music can bring. "You see the stage? It's really small. But you know what? Ten-piece bands, they make their way over here. Why? Because Windsor pays attention. We get it. And we also understand the importance of independent music, culture and art," said Lucier. "This isn't the place where dreams come true, this is the place where dreams begin."
Here are the clubs that made it into the top ten:
Aeolian Hall - London, ON
Amigo's Cantina - Saskatoon, SK
Baba's Lounge - Charlottetown, PEI
Call the Office - London, ON
The Capital Bar- Fredericton, NB
George's Fabulous Roadhouse- Sackville, NB
The Grad Club - Kingston, ON
Phog Lounge - Windsor, ON
Starlight Social Club - Waterloo, ON
Zaphod Beeblebrox - Ottawa, ON