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Joining the club

Pemberton music lovers launch club to support local musicians

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Making a go of music in this corridor isn't exactly easy. And if you ask just about any musician, they'll probably cite the lack of rehearsal and performance spaces as one of the biggest challenges they face.

But one Pemberton businesswoman is trying to find a solution to this problem, launching a club designed for musicians and music lovers, and opening her barn up to the members.

Hollie Davis is now the owner and operator of Holly Park Hostel, located in Pemberton. She moved to the area almost 20 years ago to be near Whistler for skiing, and Pemberton to raise her horses. Now, the horses are gone and her barn mostly sits empty. But not for much longer.

"It's called the Jam Barn now," she said with a laugh. "There's no horses in it!"

While Davis isn't directly involved in the music industry, she's friends with lots of musicians and ever since the infamous Boot closed, has heard them complain about the lack of rehearsal and performance space. And that lack of rehearsal space may be hampering bands' growth.

"The other thing I've heard about the bands (is) they're not getting as many gigs as they could," Davis said. "There's a lot of DJs out there - and I'm not knocking DJs, my son-in-law is a DJ - but they seem to tend to get a lot more work nowadays than the bands. Bands are dying for places to play."

The idea was actually inspired by a Hawaiian musician, also a friend of Davis, who hosts similar jam sessions in his garage.

"I was invited to one of those jams," she recalled. "...And his garage is smaller than my barn, but it's all set up, and they had people there who just dance and people who weren't even musicians... it was really, really cool."

After some careful consideration, Davis decided to test her friend's model out in her own barn, launching the Pemberton Live Music Supporters Club, a group designed to appeal not only to those who make music themselves, but people who love to listen to live music.

"Who knows, maybe a great musician will come out of my barn!" Davis said with a laugh.

The membership costs are tiered, depending on whether or not you want to have access to the Jam Barn for rehearsal space, or you simply want to be able to attend the party. A gold membership costs $84. A silver membership, which gives access to the annual party plus overnight privileges, costs $60. And a bronze membership gets you entry into the party for just $30.

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