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Vancouver on the Cheap: Friends Thursdays at The Electric Owl

If you were to create a Venn diagram where one circle was labeled "cheap" and the other labeled "awesome", the middle point where they cross over could be labeled "Vancouver on the Cheap".

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If you were to create a Venn diagram where one circle was labeled "cheap" and the other labeled "awesome", the middle point where they cross over could be labeled "Vancouver on the Cheap". In other words, this is a weekly series on things to do and places to go in Vancouver that fall into that magical category of being both cheap and awesome.

I love summer! With the sun comes the true Vancouver beauty we brag about to the rest of the world year-round, a banishment of scarves and coats, delicious patio beer specials, and the nineties music cranking out of every car window. Okay, maybe just my car window, but still. To me, nothing says summer like listening to the songs I listened to while I was a teenager. Which is why I was both intrigued and delighted the moment I saw this little guy plastered to a telephone pole:

Did you see the magic words on there? "90's dance party" and "No Cover" - all in one poster. That's right, Vancouver! No cover! That means that you can enter an actual club, dance to some awesome music, maybe have a drink or two, and they aren't asking you to pay extra money for the privilege of doing so. AWESOME.

The whole night was inspired and created by DJ duo The Gal Pals, also known as Emma and Jamie.

The Gal Pals themselves!

I got a chance to talk to Emma about the launch of FRIENDS Thursdays, and this is what she had to say:

ANDREA: What sparked the idea for FRIENDS night?

EMMA: FRIENDS started off in a very genuine way. Jamie, myself and our friends often put on '90s music when we were drinking, hanging out, doing karaoke etc. About a year ago we started a monthly night at another venue where we had really awesome local bands play. For our Halloween show we had a Nirvana cover band - One Baby - which was the best. In early March we decided to focus on launching a weekly night at Electric Owl. We haven't had bands play at this one yet because we're focusing more on the party and the dancing. Not to say that it won't happen in the future though...

A: Why no cover? Why not capitalize on the 90's nostalgia craze?

E: We want to encourage absolutely everyone to come out. Our night isn't about exclusivity and guest-lists and VIP booths or whatever. It's been a huge sigh of relief since we launched NO COVER SUMMER last week and the response has been amazing. Vancouver is expensive enough and Jamie and I were always just doing this for fun. I am totally aware that we both need to keep our day jobs. Friday mornings have been tough on both of us.

A: 90's nights about in Vancouver, why is yours more awesome than the rest?

E: I think the biggest compliment we receive is when people tell us that we look like we're having fun. Because we are having fun. And everyone else is having fun. I haven't really checked out the other '90s nights in the city - I'm sure they're awesome - but by the end of our night everyone in the room is always dancing. It's a very non pretentious atmosphere and we really have no shame when playing the guilty pleasures. With the exception of the really annoying shit - like Eiffel 65 or Chumbawamba. You will not hear us delve that far into the realm of embarrassing '90s.

A: Any drink specials/other cheap things that night?

E: YES! The Owl has given us:

Jameson = $3.50

Vodka highballs = $4.00

PBR Draft = $4.50

She also references that her and Jamie created a drink called "The Ross" involving a Palm Bay and a shot of gin. Alright, folks, this has got to be a strength in numbers thing - start asking The Electric Owl for The Ross at 90's night and we shall make it happen! Because truly, the only other thing to make this night better would be if my grade seven crush was there and, you know, asked me to dance. Not that I really care or would like that or ever think about him or anything.

FRIENDS No Cover Thursdays

The Electric Owl - 928 Main St


All summer long

Photo by Scott Loudoun, from the FRIENDS Thursday launch party