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2023 NSMZ Venue of the Year: The Capitol Music Club

Article and Photos by Melanie Macpherson

Dylan Jules Cooper performing during The Capitol's 9th Anniversary Celebration

This year, NSMZ's Venue of the Year is The Capitol Music Club.  'The Cap' has been an important part of the Saskatoon music scene since Mitch Lupichuk and Leot Hanson opened it in 2014.  The small size makes it appropriate for artists just beginning their journeys as well as more established artists looking for an intimate atmosphere.  The Tuesday night Open Stage run by Mark Poppen and Joel Gaudet (winner of last year’s Industry Movers and Shakers award for the many ways they have enhanced and supported the Saskatchewan music scene), also provides a safe and supportive entry point into the music scene for emerging artists just getting a feel for performing.  The sound quality is top notch, thanks in no small part to one of Saskatoon’s best sound techs, Colin Klassen. The food, service and atmosphere are some of the best the city has to offer.  

Saskatoon's whimsical and eclectic Chesterfield on The Cap's stage

Earlier this year Lupichuk approached our little online music magazine about covering The Capitol’s 9th Anniversary celebration.  What could have been a quick one-off article about the upcoming events, instead developed into a relationship. With an ambitious pitch of some pie-in-the-sky ideas by a naive new member of the NSMZ staff, an arrangement was made.  NSMZ was named a sponsor of the event and given an open invitation to all of the incredible shows during the month-long event.  We in turn helped with promotion in the best way we knew how; by providing hype for upcoming shows and events, interviewing and giving a face to many of the upcoming bands, as well as providing professional photographers and writers to attend the shows and review or ‘reCap’ all of the events.  This was the biggest project NSMZ had ever taken on, and there was a lot of pressure within the NSMZ ranks to make it count.

The Capitol is an inviting and enjoyable experience, with great food, a well stocked bar, pool and plenty of seating.

The collaboration turned out to be a huge success, and has led to a great working relationship with The Capitol as well as a greater demand on NSMZ for similar coverage by many other venues.  It was the beginning of what became a huge growth year for NSMZ.  And just in case you’re wondering, that naive new (not so young) writer and photographer, who could have bitten off way more than she could chew with those lofty ideas, well... she learned to fly, all thanks to The Cap.

My Son the Hurricane, Dirty and the Perks, Kelly Taylor, Shred Kelly, Kit Langfield and The Brothers G, and Corrupt UK all graced the Capitol's stage this year.

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