The other day I had a chance to sit down with Daniel Durocher and Liv Gains; Co-Founders of The Bridge Live Music Productions, to see exactly what is going on. Being from the same city as Dan and Liv (Cambridge, Ontario), I have heard a lot of buzz about The Bridge.
Behind The Scenes With The Bridge
Daniel, CEO, and Liv Gains, President, first teamed up nearly three years ago to put on a River Clean up event to support a clean and safe environment surrounding the Grand River. After a huge success with that event, and the clean up the following year, the duo decided that Cambridge’s live music scene needed a similar sort of pick-me-up, and thus The Bridge Live Music Productions was born.
Around these parts, Dan is also connected with local government, which plays into his roles with The Bridge. Dan approaches venues on behalf of the musicians in search of stages, and musical partnerships. He creates relationships with different venues in which the musicians can grow with.
Liv, having been involved in the music industry for a number of years, and being a musician herself, plays a huge role in finding a common ground amongst musicians, venues, and customers. She decides who should play where, organizes events, and assists in promotions, because putting a smooth jazz musician in a hard rock bar just isn’t fair for anyone!
“We like to keep things community based, so every venue we approach is in search of a partnership, rather than a one time deal. When we send a musician to a new venue, we look at the musicians style, what crowd the venue generally brings in, and what crowd the artist brings out. By keeping these three things in mind, we are able to put the up-and-coming jazz musician in the small jazz bar, and the well known hip hop artist in the large hip hop venue.”
More About The Bridge
The Bridge is a relatively new undertaking for Liv and Dan – just under a year old. In a nutshell, it is a not-for-profit talent and booking agency that runs out of Southern Ontario and has a very unique business philosophy (more on that in a minute).
As to the name, “The Bridge” is based on the city in which it started; Cambridge, Ontario – a scenic city of 100K+ people, known for it’s musical talent, operating on an underground or grassroots level, once you get past the blue collar, work-a-day nature of the place.
The folks in this area do enjoy live music, however, there has always been tension between young musicians looking for places to perform and be heard, and older residents who worry about noise pollution.
In terms of goals, the Bridge operates at a grassroots level, but has international aspirations. It also seems to have its eye on helping musicians get their records out. Touring, in particular, is another big part of what the Bridge is all about.
In fact, the upcoming 401 Tour that Liv and Dan have organized will see artists performing at various venues all along the highway 401, including such esteemed venues as The Horseshoe Tavern in Toronto, and The Casbah in Hamilton.
While its specific goals are slowly coming into focus, one thing that can be said is that The Bridge seems to be growing rapidly as a collective of talent. With nearly 30 artists involved, and more live shows in the past 6 months than many local booking agencies and promoters doing the same thing, it is becoming clear why The Bridge is gaining traction, and it has to do with its unique management style.
Before we get into why the Bridge is unique, let’s talk about some of the musicians who are part of The Bridge. If you are not from Southern Ontario, The Bridge’s roster of artists probably won’t ring a bell – Ricky Mullen, Joe’s Basement, Liv Gains, The Magnetic Revelators, Jam On Toast, Melissa Koehler, to name but a few. These are acts which are local to the Southern Ontario music scene, although they’re starting to book more shows across the country.
The roster for The Bridge isn’t exactly static. Depending on when and where a show is, will dictate which artists will be called upon to perform, but the main point is that there will be plenty of artists to fill all the needed spots.
Check Em Out!
The Bridge Live Music Productions may be new, but they’re already taking their show on the road, and they want anyone and everyone who is a fan of good live music to come and check them out whenever possible. To get more information, get more involved, or book with them, you can reach either Liv Gains or Daniel Durocher directly on Facebook. Ciao for now, brown cow!