Musicians are scrambling as one of Vancouver’s largest rehearsal facilities suddenly announced its permanent closure on Monday.
The affected artists have been given little more than a few days to get their gear out and find new rehearsal space.
Located at Broadway and Renfrew Street, Renegade Studios closed its doors Wednesday morning. About 50 musicians are out of a space, along with numerous visual artists and dance and theatre groups.
Owner Jim Buckshon said the closure comes as a result of protracted battle with the property owner over promised repairs that never materialized. Buckshon took over the 16,000 square foot space in December 2016 and counted more than 100 leaks in the roof that he was led to believe would be fixed.
Buckshon suggests he was owed some rent abatement as a result of those ongoing issues, but wasn’t given any financial breaks. Negotiations broke down, according to Buckshon, to the point that his lease was terminated.
The affected artists got the word on Monday afternoon, and the locks were changed Wednesday morning. Everything has to be gone from the space by this weekend, and Buckshon has promised everyone will get their security deposits back in the coming weeks.
It’s the eighth location Buckshon has tried to a make a go of since 1983. He’s hoping to open a new location in Vancouver by January, but land costs and property taxes are proving extremely prohibitive.
“We sincerely tried to make this building work,” Buckshon said. “We charged people less because there were problems in [the building], but it’s always a tough grind. We had eight-year-old girls in our dance theatre with ceiling tiles that were soggy.”