HRM Shuts Down Open Mic House At Agricola Street, Halifax

It’s more than seven years now, Agricola Street’s Open Mic House has been running an interesting Monday night open mic and gets a huge customers’ response.  However, the site has got a sudden pause after the administration came across a land-used clash with the township.

In the early months of the year 2016, a noise complaint woke up the management of the city leading to an investigation which says the open mic has violated municipality’s bylaws.  According to the municipality, it considers the land to be a business which has no proper permission to run a business and its insurance.

Heather Moore, the present organizer of Open Mic House seemed very surprised on the declared findings. According to the Moore, they did not get any warnings. Moreover, their landlord told them that he called the municipality who demanded the open mic to get a permit for whatever they organize there.

According to all members of the venue and the organizer, they have never valued money but HRM without spending any time to understand the Monday night’s open mic has shut it down.”

They are not going to find big revenue the place receives as we are not running a business,” says the organizer.

On the other hand, Brendan Elliott, representative for the municipality, states, “the open mic house is like a louse marketplace or some sale on road side for HRM, and so we are not taking it in either way. Furthermore, we do not have any objections if an event is taking place once or twice but the open mic house appears to be a business happening in a routine which makes us ask them to make it legalized by getting a proper permit.

Agricola Street’s Open Mic House has been a center for several groups of people belonging to Halifax Arts for more than seven years. They organized their first mic event in 2008 where the musicians from the house performed and gathered huge appreciation.  The event then quickly grew into a giant gathering and started taking place on every Monday.  The most interesting thing about the open mic house is that many musical groups who had come from across the nation have gathered huge recognition and are in better financial conditions.  Some of the musicians who have been an active part of the weekly gathering are Krasnogorsk, Willie Stratton, and Nick Everett.

The winner of the Coast’s best of Halifax Awards 2015, the open mic hasn’t only drawn attention from the natives of Halifax only but  has also gathered popularity across Canada. Moreover, it also received a written recognition from the provincial government who appreciated its creative value in cultural contributions and congratulated the organizers for winning the award.

After putting a pause on the open mic house, the authorities have clearly indicated them to get a proper business permit and business insurance in order to continue with the event. Moreover, the landlord is obliged to apply for house code approval.  

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