Trane Studio struggling for survival

The following note comes from the Trane Studio, the great small music club on Bathurst which is a great booster of music and art, focusing in particular on jazz plus African, Latin, world & urban musics.

It temporarily lost its liquor license last year, and has been fighting its way through a bureacratic mess to try to get it restored.  Everyone knows that the business of live entertainment means that small venues need liquor sales to make any profits.

Read their note below:

Dear Trane Studio family, friends and supporters,

It has been nearly 1 year (July 2010) since the venue re-applied for its liquor license (a process which usually takes eight weeks). The license was approved with conditions which have all been met, however due to bureaucratic miscommunications the license could now be delayed until July 2011. We have complied with all that has been required of us by the city, province and AGCO (Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario). This has been an ongoing stress on the small business which has been operating at a deficit for over a year already.

We can all imagine how difficult any live music (let alone art and music) venue is to operate without a liquor license. Imagine Revival, Hughes Room, The Rex, The Rivoli, Dominion On Queen, The Old Mill, operating for nearly 12 months without a liquor license. The Trane Studio operates in the way of a non profit and has been operating in such spirit for years, supporting thousands of local and international artists, and will continue to do as long as we are able. We remain committed, despite the challenges, to the art, culture and cultural diversity in the City of Toronto.

It has been extremely difficult to operate without a regular liquor license in place, as you can imagine. We would like, if you will, that you kindly click on the link to our petition, read more and lend your community support.

Please read, sign and share this link with your friends and other supporters.

In the meantime, and until the license is reinstated please continue to show your support to The Trane Studio and our great local talents. We cannot at this time guarantee that there will be alcohol each evening that we are open. However, we can guarantee that the entertainment and menu will be great as usual and we will do our very best to keep you satisfied with great service. We will also do whatever we can to avoid interrupting the artistic programming at the venue. 

We will keep you informed and updated. Thank you again, and please do lend your continued support to the venue.

 From all at The Trane Studio  

2 responses to “Trane Studio struggling for survival”

  1. Yes, this is anonymous. Toronto is a small scene for musicians, and repercussions are real. But, the Trane studio is a bunch of bullshit. Anyone who attends the gigs there would be appalled at the way musicians are treated. I have played there a handful of times and twice the guy who books (Frank, I think) has called the band an hour before and said that if we weren’t bringing people down he wanted us to play only one extra long set, as opposed to the 2-3 sets that were initially agreed upon. And when the 5 Weeks of Miles gigs are happening, still the musicians are being paid a paltry sum for 4 hours work, and they get no break on buying beer or food. This is common in the entertainment industry (or hell, the food industry, hotels whatever) to get a bit of a deal where you are working. It was so frustrating that is we really wanted beer, we would bring beers in a backpack and step around the corner. Especially during the Miles stuff because the club is so full, tickets are so expensive, and most people are drinking. Also, Frank routinely “disappears” when it comes time to pay musicians. Often, we have to bother him many times to get $50 out of him. If a club manager/owner is worried about $50 dollars, they should rethink their line of work.Anyways, think twice about going to the Trane, or if you know a musician who has performed there and will give you candid answers, ask them about it. The scene there isn’t pretty, and it isn’t going to help anyone. And I mean club owners and musicians alike. Musicians will go and hang out in a club where they feel appreciated. The Rex is good for us, and a couple of other spots. Please though, not the Trane.

  2. I totally agree with the above poster. I am also a musician that has been burned time and time again by the Trane. Can you believe they try and take 20% of the door for themselves? On a door gig? That’s bullshit. I’ve only played there a few times, and have been disgusted by their policies. This city has other jazz clubs that treat musicians fairly – let’s all go there.