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Old Apr 4, 2012, 11:55 PM
Patrick Farrell Patrick Farrell is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Where in Canada has best music scene?

Hey everyone.

My story very quickly: I'm a bassist who lives in Melbourne, Australia who is interested in moving to Canada with my girlfriend.

I was on tour there last year but was mostly stuck on the festival circuit so I didn't get much of a feel for the main cities. Where I live now the scene is really healthy, people are hungry to play/excel.

I released an album last year ( and I'm keen to move somewhere jazz/fusion friendly so I can keep developing that stuff but I also need a scene busy enough to work as a sideman (any genre - just need to stay busy).

Can you guys recommend the best city? My partner is from Vancouver but my gut instinct is leaning toward Toronto.


Thanks everyone.

Pat F
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Old Apr 5, 2012, 10:30 AM
Allan Johnston Allan Johnston is offline
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Location: North Van
Posts: 465
Where in Canada has the best music scene?

Hi Patrick,

I can't speak for any place but Vancouver. Here we have a vibrant music scene, in that there are many creative musicians (some of whom are almost "off the radar") who are a pleasure to play with. If you want to be creative, there are plenty of people here to do that with, and you'll be welcomed.

Unfortunately, the numbers of places to be paid to play music (of any kind) has not kept pace with the number of players. It has been going in the other direction. Door gigs abound, many people go home with little or no money, just glad to be out playing. Almost everybody teaches or does a day gig (or two) in order to keep up with the cost of living in this beautiful, temperate city (I LOVE Melbourne, by the way).

I've heard Toronto perhaps has more playing opportunities (and more players, of course), and Montreal has a great scene, too. I guess there are a lot of things to factor in any move...whatever you do, good luck to you!


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Old Apr 6, 2012, 06:58 AM
Patrick Farrell Patrick Farrell is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Hey guys. Any other thoughts?

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Old Apr 6, 2012, 09:07 PM
Jared Burrows Jared Burrows is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Vancouver, BC
Posts: 95
Hi Pat,

I echo Al's thoughts. There seem to be more creative, talented and wonderful jazz players per square foot here than anywhere else I have been. Most of us are very open to a lot of different musical styles and ideas and are willing to put in time and effort on original musical projects. If you want to do creative things, this is a great place. We are also one of the most expensive cities in the world in which to live. I think it would be a big challenge to make a living here without doing a lot of teaching or taking on a day gig, but from what I hear from friends in Toronto, Montreal, NYC San Francisco, LA etc I don't think things are that much different elsewhere in North America. Most people that stay in Vancouver because it is very beautiful and relatively warm (for this country) and because we have a very friendly and open musical scene.

Best of luck,

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