A&E » Arts

The show goes on, for three more months

Boot Pub will close April 30



Whistler will lose another piece of history this spring.

Cressey Development officials announced the Boot Pub will close its doors April 30 to make way for a residential development. With the closure, a living history of memories and music will begin to fade.

Some might sum up the closure as one less local watering whole in Whistler. But the Boot Pub, which was built in 1966 by David and Irene Andrews on a 10-acre parcel of land they purchased for $10,000, is more than a cheap night out and even more than a gathering place of locals. The rickety shed, lovingly dubbed the Locals’ Living Room, spearheads Whistler’s live music scene for touring and local bands alike.

Monday Madness funnels through everything from the bizarre to the sublime. Rock ’n’ roll, blues, maritime, country and everything in between; leading and yet-undiscovered jewels in the rough from all over North America have found a stage to hone their music during a one-night stand at the Boot.

Whistler’s ultimate anti-club event, Punk Night, blasts out mainstream radio play with music rebels every Sunday. Sometimes as many as three bands pack an evening playbill, opening ears to a largely underground scene.

A church of music to many, how will the closure of Whistler’s biggest concert host change the face of Whistler’s live music scene?

"When the Boot does close, I hope other bars in town will consider the absolute need for live entertainment to continue," said Paul McNaught , Boot Pub manager.

"There have been many class acts in some of these fine establishments. Some I remember. Some I forget. This town needs to feel the jive every night."

For more than 13 years McNaught has worked his way around the Boot: first as a bartender, then Gaitors Grill manager and finally as Whistler’s own music man.

"It was my goal to continue what other managers had done in the past: (providing) top quality live music for the community," he said. "It has been an incredible experience being in contact with all sorts of music acts, some crazier than others. I guess my toughest, but most enjoyable battle was putting the Tragically Hip shows on for two nights….

"I think people have returned over and over because of the music. The Boot, through many changes, was built for acoustics. The sound quality is by far top shelf through the help of Pip and Scott from esound."

He also mentioned pub patrons and hotel, pub and restaurant staff, particularly Lindsay Shedden who resurrected Punk Night.