These Are Canada’s Best Insider Music Venues

Canada has plenty of huge venues that are known for attracting some of the biggest acts in the world, but what about those venues that are a little on the smaller side? Perhaps a little less well known, more tucked away, maybe more rural. We’re going to shine a light on some of Canada’s best insider music venues right here.

The Commodore, Vancouver, British Columbia

Although this venue can host nearly a thousand people, it still manages to feel really intimate. The Commodore has been around since the 1930s and is famous for its wild nights of dancing. The venue can be found in the heart of Vancouver, on Granville Street, the perfect location for any creative venue. You’re right in the heart of Vancouver’s arty entertainment district, so once you’ve finished your show there’s plenty to amuse yourself with. As well as location though, the Commodore has plenty else going for it. There’s the stunning art deco décor, the original sprung floor and the charming little balconies. The Commodore has history in spades, not just in its architecture but also in the acts that have played here. The venue has played host to Nirvana, KISS, David Bowie and even the North American debut of the Clash. When it comes to historical venues with a dance floor to die for, The Commodore has to be the winner.

Casino Rama, Lake Simco, Orillia

Casino Rama might not be where you’d expect to find a whole bunch of great up and coming and classic acts, after all, casinos are better known for their night in night out residencies, think Katy Perry, or Lady Gaga and their enormous Vegas shows. Despite this, Casino Rama has a solid list of bands who are on the way up and groups who you’ll remember from yesteryear. Recently they announced 90s rockers The Tea Party, supported by Moist. You’ll probably remember songs from The Tea Party like ‘Temptation’ and ‘Heaven Coming Down’, or Moist’s ‘Resurrection’ and ‘Gasoline. For their opening weekend though, they kept the bill a lot younger, with Avril Lavigne headlining and an opening slot for Jake Owens, a talented young country artist. 

It’s great to see a casino really utilising the space available to shine a light on new acts, as well as deliver old ones. Casino’s really ought to be known for their music, after all, the games that they offer have some of the catchiest theme tunes around.  At the best Canadian online casinos as helpfully curated by Vegas Slots Online, you’ll find plenty of slots games that have theme tunes you’ll be humming for hours after. Golden Goddess is a really popular slot game that is available to play both online and on actual machines for those who prefer the novelty value. Online you’ll likely find better deals, including sign up bonuses which are listed in the rundown.

The Bassment, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

When it comes to repurposed venues, The Bassment might be one of the most original in all of Canada. Located right across from the City Hall in Saskatoon, the Bassment can be found in an old post office building. When it first opened, the venue was known as a haunt for indie kids and purported to put on any band that was big enough to be able to haul their own equipment there. Nowadays the entry criteria for musicians is a little higher, with mainly jazz acts taking to the stage. Whatever night of the week you visit you’re likely to find something of the jazz persuasion playing, but you might also stumble across classical, folk, or funk music too. Each of the musicians that plays at the Bassment is a full time professional, so you’ll be seeing some of the most accomplished, generally unsigned acts, in the business.

Bovine Sex Club, Toronto, Ontario

Insert Image Here >Image< Caption: Expect all kinds of rock at the Bovine Sex Club

If you’re interested in small music venues with ridiculously good names, then you probably won’t have to look much further than The Bovine Sex Club. Whilst one could ponder on the conversation that led up to the venue being christened that, perhaps it would be better to move onto some of the venues physical credentials instead. This club is often touted as the best bar in Toronto, which for many places would seem hyperbolic, but for the Bovine Sex Club it really isn’t. These guys have been booking big bands for their small space for decades now. Expect to see anything that falls under the umbrella of ‘rock’ here. You could encounter heavy metal, proper punk, 80s glam, or a combination of all of the above. Glen Matlock of Sex Pistols fame loved this venue so much that he started his most recent tour here. It’s a guitar-focused venue, with a bicycle above the door and a busy bar. What’s not to love?

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