The Company House: A year in the life

North end bar and folk music venue celebrates a year in business

Tuesday, January 27, 2009 was a hectic one for MaryAnn Daye and Heather Gibson. The folk music festival In The Dead of Winter was about to open that evening at their new bar The Company House (2202 Gottingen Street, 404-3050) and they spent the morning securing their liquor licence and the afternoon securing booze. “It was a little close for comfort,” says Daye. Now, nearly a year later and with the fifth edition of the music fest launching in a couple of weeks, the CoHo has filled a niche in the Halifax music scene, serving as the locale for CD launches by local singer-songwriters such as Erin Costelo and Amelia Curran, and gigs by out-of-town performers such as Jim Bryson, Royal Wood, Madison Violet and Luke Doucet. “I was always into music,” explains Daye, who had no previous experience in the bar business, though Gibson used to run the Khyber Club. “It was an opportunity to do what I loved in this neighbourhood, which was important.” The venue has also been a site for The Halifax Pop Explosion and The Atlantic Jazz Festival as well as book launches and poetry readings. “First and foremost it’s a live music venue, but it’s a great space for different kinds of things.” The people at the East Coast Music Awards agree, having nominated the CoHo for venue of the year.

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