1313 Hollis is a unique space in Halifax because its identity is so fluid. “Really, we’re just a rental space,” says Susan Hunter, who founded the spot in 2008 along with Jerry Granelli and John Siemens. It was originally set up to house Granelli’s Creative Music workshops and housed other JazzEast events. (The legendary percussionist also maintains a studio in the rear of the building.) Currently it's also used as an art space during Nocturne and hosts weekly classes in salsa, tango and swing dancing, as well as rehearsals for a junior choir.
In 2009, Halifax noise musician Konstantin Iakovlev contacted Hunter to book an show after his band was banned from Gus’. “That led to other people in the scene coming to us and making bookings,” she says. Since then, bands like Hind Legs, Kuato and Nap Eyes have used the room. It costs $20 per hour to rent the space. Bands are in charge of their own publicity and gear — and there are a few other caveats. Shows start early and end early, you have to leave the place as tidy as you found it, and noise complaints can sometimes be an issue “We have a lot of neighbours in the area, so the windows and doors have to stay closed,” says Hunter. If musicians are too loud, they may find themselves getting shushed by Granelli himself. But he might also hang around and listen to your band for awhile. That’s the type of experience that makes it worthwhile to have shows at 1313 Hollis.
“It’s amazing,” says Iakolev. “From seeing grindcore bands playing in what is basically an art gallery to having the same group of high school girls come out to every show - having a venue that lets shows happen no matter what type of music you play is awesome.”