Jamie Grant has exciting plans for The Hangar.
After taking over the 5,000-sq.-ft. Function Junction warehouse in September from Bounce, Grant began to use the space for Whistler Sports Academy activities, a sports camp that he founded and co-directs.
But he has plans for the evenings too. "It has three-storey-high ceilings; that's why I'm calling it The Hangar," he says.
"We have a very unique space. There's nothing in the village quite like it. I'm going to turn it into—at night—a space with live music on the main floor. The second-floor loft we'll slowly develop. That will fit 60 or 70 people and we'll call it The Loft. It'll be a little swankier with leather furnishings. It'll be looking down on the dancefloor."
While plenty of renovations, a few permits and several months stand between now and the official opening, The Hangar has already hosted private events and one ticketed blowout. Whistler duo Case of the Mondays hosted a Halloween party in the space and attracted 350 people.
It was the first in a series of parties that the pair plans to host monthly.
"The lighting and sound was amazing," Grant says. "The DJs playing from Vancouver said, 'Man, this is the spot.' It was nice to hear because it confirmed what I already knew about the space: if I do it right, it'll be a very, very cool space for Whistler or people visiting."
The timing was also right for Whistler's increasingly bustling industrial neighbourhood. With two breweries, Forged Axe Throwing, the newly opened vintage shop/café/music venue, The Velvet Underground, along with many established restaurants, exciting things are happening in Function Junction, Grant says.
"I'm not sure I would've done this three or four years ago," he adds. "I've been introducing myself to everyone in the area. I didn't realize how there's this loyalty to the area and a feel of community. It's a really cool, tight-knit community. We feel really welcomed and embraced out there. It's great."
While the plans are still in early stages, Grant says ultimately he'd like to partner with other establishments in the area to create a shuttle from the village to Function Junction in the evenings. "We already have the buses for our sports academy," he adds.
Alongside music events and DJs, the space is also hosting dance classes for adutls and kids, as well as an aerial silks class. The large, open warehouse format allows for the diversity, Grant adds.
As for programming music acts, he says he plans to enlist some local help—Case of the Mondays serving as a perfect example.
"I've been going over that a lot in my mind the last few weeks. I'm older now. It might not be a good business model for me to do all the programming," he says, with a laugh.
Grant expects the event space won't be up and running at full capacity until late spring 2019—at the earliest—but in the meantime, Case of the Mondays will host their monthly Garden Parties and the space is open for private rentals, events and parties.
"We're very excited about what this place is going to be," Grant says.