Elgin Comes (A)LIVE!

By Christine Séguin — Thu, 04/06/2015 - 06:49

On Friday, Ottawa will be graced with another great space for artists and makers to collaborate, network, showcase and promote their work, giving us all yet another reason to f%$&ing love this city.  

Father and Son team Lawrence and Jon Evenchick will be opening LIVE! on Elgin on June 5 with a performance from Ottawa natives the Balconies and FEVERS.  I asked Jon a few questions about the venue, including what it was like to go into business with his father.

Jon is a recent graduate of the Algonquin College's Small Business Management & Entrepreneurship program and has always be a passionate participant in the Ottawa music scene, not only as a musician, but as a promoter and grantwriter through his non-profit organization Ottawa Music Bus.  His father Lawrence’s experience stems from the Ottawa Theatre community, of which he has been a staple since 1979. “It has been great working my father. We both bring our own unique set of skills to this project, I think we make an excellent team.”

Jon and Lawrence are excited about creating a social space for artists. “Our vision is to have LIVE! recognized as a venue that members of the arts community in Ottawa feel they can come to not only to see a great show, but also to network and build.”

Jon’s original vision was to open a medium sized venue, but after some research and analysis they decided something small would be more suitable. They wanted something that would keep costs low for budding theatre companies, musicians, comedians and artists. “LIVE! on Elgin came from my passion for music, and my father's passion for theatre. We are creating a venue that can help both industries grow from a grassroots level.”

Jon and Lawrence have had tremendous support from the community, albeit meeting some roadblocks in the parking department. “The biggest thanks has to go to the artists we have booked over the summer for putting their faith in us. It is not easy making a living as a musician, and to put your potential income for the night in the hands of a new, untested venue, is extremely brave, and has helped us promote the space like we never thought would be possible. We've got some great acts coming in over the summer. Another group without whom this would not be possible is the teachers at Algonquin College. The business plan would not of been possible without their help. I highly recommend the Small Business Management program for anyone looking to start their own business.”

I asked Jon what was the biggest lesson he’d learned in the two year process of opening Live! and what advice he has for new entrepreneurs. “The biggest for me would be the timing of certain renovation jobs. Knowing an exact time frame for each job, as opposed to an estimate, would've made things run more smoothly. As for advice, having a passion for the product your business is selling is a MUST. You have to love what you do in order to get through the stress of opening your own business.”

So come out and support this amazing effort to contribute to the pulsating arts community of this great city.

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