UPDATE ON OWLS CLUB / POLICY CHANGES

Following our previous post, we’ve had further discussions with members of the music community and community members of Owls Club.


Owls Club has implemented a new requirement for bands/promoters who want to book the space for shows to provide a licensed and registered security guard for the duration of the events moving forward (both basement and upstairs). The impetus for this is to improve the safety of the space during such events, and to give show organizers their choice of and responsibility for security personnel. The security should provide documentation of their valid license and communicate with the bartender on duty prior to doors. The bar won’t open and the shows will not start without the presence of said security, to be provided by the show’s organizers.
Owls Club has reached out to some of the organizers of the April 5 show with a conciliatory approach, and would like to apologize to anyone who felt discomfort during the altercation that followed the vandalism. As a reminder, this establishment is a ANAF veterans hall (not a Royal Canadian Legion) and it supports many people of various backgrounds and ideologies, including members with disabilities and victims of war. It is a safety-net space for many who seek community, and it’s imperative for musicians wishing to play or attend shows there to respect their surroundings. It is not a traditional venue, and though Owls has opened their doors to the music community for performances, their space is still a second home for it’s members and deserves to be respected as such.

RE: OWLS CLUB

On Friday night there was an altercation at Owls Club during a show put on by members of the DIY music community.

After speaking with one of the organizers of the show, as well as communicating with management at Owls Club today, we felt the need to make a statement because of our past involvement with the space. Until there are active steps made by Owls Club to improve standards for the safety of their patrons, we will not be organizing events there moving forward.

We’re not in a position to expand on the details of what happened because we weren’t there (all of the information we’ve gathered has been second-hand). Neither do we want to add our opinions online to problems of this sensitive nature. However, we think taking the time to open a discussion offline and in person could be helpful for us to listen, learn from this experience, and improve our approach, for ourselves and for others with a stake in the music community. There are layers of complexity and context that deserve thoughtful consideration, and we hope sharing perspectives can strengthen our collective understanding surrounding these issues.

We welcome anyone who would like to participate in the discussion to 1207 Bloor St. W. (back laneway entry - ‘Somewhere Else’) on Wednesday April 10th, 8pm-10pm. For more specific directions or if you can’t attend but would like to discuss another time or give a written statement, please email: thedepartmentofrawmaterials@gmail.com

Thanks for reading,

Raw Materials