Ryan Martin says the success of the Spiritbar over the last five years has been the product of great community support.

Nelson’s Spiritbar celebrates five years

Ryan Martin, manager of Nelson's Hume Hotel, reflects on the past five years as Spiritbar celebrates it's fifth anniversary.

From The Boiler Room to Taffy Jack’s to the Spiritbar, Hume Hotel manager Ryan Martin has seen a lot of changes in the hotel’s basement music venue.

“Our old nightclub, we used to have fights weekly down there and they would often spill out on to the street at the end of the night,” said Martin. “We weren’t proud of where it went. It became a really bad vibe. I think we’ve been able to eradicate that and create a really positive environment down there where people can enjoy great music on any given week.”

On Saturday night Spiritbar will be celebrating its five year anniversary.

The nightclub opened in April 2007 after Martin watched numbers at Taffy Jack’s decline.

“We had two nightclubs prior to Spiritbar,” said Martin. “The Boiler Room lasted 11 years and Taffy Jacks lasted 12 years and both bars had a really good heyday for a while. I think it’s just the normal lifecycle of a nightclub in a small town.”

Both venues featured a house DJ who played Top 40 music.

“Once the Element opened up in Castlegar we had no business at all. It was a really stressful time for me trying to figure out what we would do next,” said Martin.

Taffy Jack’s closed its doors and Martin began rebranding the venue, creating Spiritbar.

“It’s a lot more dynamic now having different DJs and bands on any given week where the old formula was the same house DJ every single night and it gets pretty old pretty fast,” said Martin. “I’ve been trying to have something for everyone at sometime during the year.”

Spiritbar has hosted popular international and local bands, musicians and DJs.

The Odds, The Grapes of Wrath, The Sheepdogs, Chali 2na, Ghostface Killah, Nero, The Funkhunters, Maseo Parker and Elliott Brood are just some of the acts that have played since the doors opened.

“It’s hard to believe that five years have gone by when you see the list of all the different acts that have graced the stage. It’s really unbelievable. We feel like we’ve been really lucky to host so many great artists locally and on an international level as well,” said Martin.

On Saturday Spiritbar is opening its doors to the community to thank them for their support over the past five years.

“That’s one thing everyone says to me: ‘Wow, thank you for bringing in good acts. It’s really nice,’” said Martin. “I want to say thank you for supporting it because the only way we get good acts is by supporting it and buying tickets so we can keep doing it.”

The anniversary party begins at 8 p.m., showcasing two local saxophone player Clinton Swanson’s bands: Hornography and Below the Belt.

At midnight Saskatchewan breaks beat DJ The Gaff will take the stage.

“I’m hoping to appeal to people that have maybe never gone down there and think they are too old to check out the Spiritbar but it’s a really diverse crowd,” said Martin.


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