St. John’s in the summertime is a great place to be. There’s nothing quite like grabbing a cool beverage and a blanket and laying back in the park to take in a few tunes from some of the most talented musicians you’ll find anywhere. But sometimes, our unpredictable weather can put a damper on things. A new indoor concert series offers an antidote to the sour notes the RDF can sometimes bring.
The Music at Atlantic Place concert series is a result of a partnership between the City of St. John’s and Martek (property manager of Atlantic Place) and is a new addition to the city’s existing “Music at“ concert series, which takes place at Harbourside Park, Bannerman Park and the Quidi Vidi Village Plantation. The first of the Atlantic Place concerts will take place on June 23 at 12:30pm with a performance by the Atlantic String Quartet to kick off St. John’s Days. The other performances, which will also take place at 12:30pm, are set for June 30 with The Duds, and September 29 and October 6 (performers to be determined).
St. John’s City Councillor Sandy Hickman says this is a great example of what can be achieved when the business and arts communities come together.
“(Martek) are encouraging it and supporting it…they want to have music filling the hallways. It’s really good support from them,” he says.
Hickman says in addition to providing entertainment to the people of the city, the “Music at” concerts also support the artists through a small stipend and increased exposure. The Atlantic Place performances in particular will bookend the Music at Harbourside lunchtime concerts and allow the city to expand the concerts to earlier and later in the season. The new venue also allows for the Music at Harbourside concerts to move indoors in case of inclement weather, rather than being cancelled.
“I’m a believer that you don’t give in to weather…but indoor facilities are also great options as well,” Hickman says.
“Every opportunity that we can find where we get support from the business community, we’re going to take advantage of it, because our philosophy at the City is to support, somewhat through small grants, but also to support through opportunity. And this is just another opportunity that we can provide to a number of talented individuals.”
This isn’t the first time that Martek has been involved in supporting creative projects. In addition to housing one of Business & Arts NL’s public pianos, Atlantic Place has also hosted previous lunchtime and Christmas concerts, pop-up choirs and more. Working with artists and supporting the community is what it’s all about says Charlie Oliver, CEO of Martek.
As manager of the largest office building downtown, Oliver feels it is incumbent for them to open their doors to the community and share the talent the city has to offer.
“There’s a great energy that gets created between the artists, the people who are downtown and then, by virtue of doing it in the daytime and around business, it gets businesses incorporated and experiencing music and/or talent and/or visual arts that they would never ever see,” he says.
“The energy that exchanges between the space and the place and the artist and the business is something that we want to incubate.”