A new entertainment venue is coming to downtown Haliburton next month.
Partners Anna Lowes, Mark Christiano and Craig Titus have been working through winter to turn their dream of establishing a new musical space in the village into reality. The trio are launching The Music Room, a 150-seat event space inside Castle Antiques on Highland Street, in early May.
“We’ve been talking about this for quite a while now. It’s always been in the back of my mind to bring something new to the downtown scene… after working closely with Anna the past few months, the door opened,” Christiano told The Highlander.
For the past six months, Castle has hosted regular shows on Friday nights – providing an opportunity for local musicians to perform in front of a live crowd. The events, first dubbed ‘Friday Night at the Castle’ and later ‘Tacos and Tunes’, have been wildly successful, Lowes said.
“We ran shows almost every week through winter and it was great – people have had a lot of fun. Now we want to ramp things up,” Lowes said. “Friday nights was kind of the stepping stone, but after seeing how well everything was going, we knew the longterm goal was to have a permanent music venue and do larger concerts here.
“The goal of Castle has always been to be a destination and offer as much variety and things for people to do as possible. I think this is just another way of doing that,” she added.
Renovations are ongoing, with a new stage and sound system being fitted in the antiques side of the store. Christiano said he’s planning to incorporate many of the shop’s vintage musical items in his design for the space, showcasing classic jukeboxes, phonographs, and instruments.
“It’s going to be a really cool vibe,” he said. A first concert has been pencilled in for May 6, with Canadian country singer Marshall Dane bringing his talents to the Highlands. Tickets are $32 and can be bought at Castle and The Hair Lounge in Haliburton.
Titus said there are six further concerts confirmed for the summer, with Christiano adding he hopes to put on at least one show per week. This is in addition to the Friday night offerings, which Christiano says will continue, noting they provide opportunities and experience for up-and-coming local performers.
The space can also be booked for workshops, seminars, and corporate events, he said.
Lowes feels this new space has the potential to benefit all businesses in the downtown.
“I’m hopeful this will kickstart more of a lively evening atmosphere – bring more people into Haliburton during times when it’s usually starting to quiet down,” she said.
“We’re not limiting ourselves to one night a week – this will really be driven by public demand. If people want to see more, then we’ll do more.
“I think this is going to be really popular, and I’m just excited to see where we can take this,” she added.
For more information about The Music Room and upcoming shows, follow them on Facebook and Instagram @ themusicroomhaliburton. To enquire about tickets, email themusicroomhaliburton@ gmail.com.