by Scott Roos
*Jam Street venue managers Matt Derworiz and Adreanna Boucher. photo courtesy Adreanna Boucher
Jam Street Shared Arts Space, over the last few years in particular, has become a reliable venue when it comes to providing a smaller, more intimate setting for launching young bands or local artists on top of providing a more inexpensive alternative for a wide swath of indie acts from around the province. With the re-open now in full swing, NSMZ caught up with Venue Manager Adreanna Boucher to ask her a few pressing questions about how things with Jam Street will operate in the weeks and months to come. We've also got a few testimonials from Bëker and Jake Vaadeland, who performed sets at jam street in the last few months, for good measure.
NSMZ: Moving forward, now that restrictions are eased in the province, where do you see Jam street fitting in terms of being a live entertainment venue in Prince Albert?
Adreanna Boucher: Our goal is the same as it’s always been. It’s to have regular live entertainment at Jam Street in the form of Off the Cuff Improv on a monthly basis, having a concert every month or couple of months with a small local act. And by local I mean Saskatchewan based. We’ve had Jake Vaadeland & the Sturgeon River Boys and we had Bëker. We did try to go ahead through COVID but we’re really looking forward to having a more full audience. So our hope is that more bands will want to perform now that they have a more lucrative opportunity in the shape of larger audiences and we’re hoping to go ahead and continue with our programming in the shape of Writer’s Salons and workshops and stuff like that.
I should add that Jam Street is and will continue to be a place for young, and/or up-and-coming bands to play for an audience. So we're always open to people approaching us wanting to put on a show, and we are really proud to be able to support the artistic community that way, in that we make ourselves available to help them market and promote themselves and offer really affordable rates for them to showcase their talents and make some money doing it.
Now that restrictions are lifted, we also hope to add a food and beverage component, most likely partnering with local vendors to provide some concessions.
*Bëker performing at Jam Street back in March. Photo by Deanna Roos
“Adreanna and Matt are wonderful people and literally bent over backwards to accommodate my needs. They were very strict in following the COVID-19 guidelines for the safety of everyone, even though it was financially painful for them. I loved doing those shows at Jam Street. I wish there was a venue like this in every town. I could go on, I honestly can't say enough about Jam Streets impact on those shows. Everything after will be measured by the bar they set.” - Bëker
*Jake Vaadland & the Sturgeon River Boys performed at jam street in May. Photo by Deanna Roos
"Adreanna goes above and beyond to make sure that both the artists and the audience feel comfortable. I really enjoyed the intimate feel that performing at Jam Street gives you. I also love interacting with the audience, and the way that the venue is laid out suits that perfectly. "- Jake Vaadeland
NSMZ: With COVID-19 still a credible threat, even with restrictions in the province eased, what steps will Jam Street be taking to maintain the safety of its patrons moving forward?
Adreanna Boucher: In regular times our maximum capacity is 46 or something like that but we’ve decided not to go full capacity quite yet just because we’re unsure about everyone’s vaccination. Where they stand with their vaccinations. And because we’re a small old building we don’t have the air exchange capacity like a place like the Rawlinson has and we want to keep everyone safe so we are still going to somewhat limit how many people we have in the building so we can allow adequate space between people. And we’re also encouraging people to not come to events if they’re sick. So if they’re sick we’re still offering full refunds for tickets. Even if they’re feeling slightly unwell we’re offering that. And we’re encouraging people to wear masks particularly if they’re unvaccinated. It’s not mandatory. It’s not a requirement. We encourage masks but they are not necessary for entry into the facility.
Jam Street will host North Portal, Sk folk duo Last Birds on August 12th. See their website for ticket info