March 5th Update
Thank you for your support — and your patience. It’s been over a year since the Jazz on View Society updated you on our efforts to save Hermann’s Jazz Club. We will now update you every few months regarding new developments.
While we regret the delay in moving forward, it was necessary to temporarily step back while fundamental issues were resolved. There is now a significant breakthrough: Jazz on View Society has signed an offer to lease and operate Hermann’s Jazz Club for the next five years. If successful, this will save the Club.The five-year lease is for the first floor, with Jazz on View staff managing all of Hermann’s operations and the View Street Social Club next door. The five-year lease is subject to raising $75,000 for improvements and rent deposit by April 15, 2019.
In other news, we have expanded our board of directors. Our new directors bring new business planning, administration, fundraising, marketing and artistic skills and experience to the table. We now have a well-rounded group of volunteers dedicated to not only saving Hermann’s but expanding the vision to create a new performing arts centre in Victoria: “Arts on View”. Read more about our reinvigorated board and expanded vision on the website.
As a popular Victoria nightclub Hermann’s continues to not only thrive but grow. In fact, it was recently chosen as the best nightclub in Victoria in the Readers’ Choice Awards of the Times Colonist. Our vision has grown to incorporate all four venues (including the three performance spaces upstairs) in an arts centre — or “Arts on View” as we are now calling it. Arts on View will still feature Hermann’s Jazz Club but will also provide opportunities for up and coming musicians and performing artists to showcase their talents.
In recent months, we have forged a stronger relationship with the Victoria Jazz Society . VJS’ Volunteer Coordinator and Assistant Programmer Ashley Wey is now on our board of directors and is also managing all bookings for Hermann’s. A big shout out to Victoria Jazz Society for their support in helping keep Hermann’s alive and their many new bookings enhancing the Club.
Some will remember that Jazz on View made an initial attempt to purchase the building a year ago. Unfortunately, this plan did not succeed. We were unable at that time to secure sufficient funds for the purchase. Our non-refundable deposit of $32,000 went to the family estate. These funds were raised through GoFundMe, a fundraising event and individual donations. No building pledges have been used or even called in.
Despite this Jazz on View has $15,000 in the bank. We are actively seeking government grants and private gifts first to lease, then, if possible, to purchase the property.
The key difference in our new approach is this. We will manage the project in stages (starting with leasing Hermann’s Jazz Club) rather than assuming we can accomplish everything at once.
The full plan is as follows:
- We have signed an offer to lease the first floor and to manage all of Hermann’s operations (and the Social Club next door), subject to raising $75,000 for a rent deposit and improvements.
- Lease the second and third floors and actively book the three upstairs venues.
- If possible, purchase the building, thus eliminating monthly rental expenses.
- Undertake renovations that will likely include an elevator and venue, kitchen and facility improvements.
- Establish a multi-million Endowment for the Arts to support performances and affordability.
A unique opportunity to keep the performing arts alive in Victoria
The entire building housing Hermann’s Jazz Club is a potential boon for the Victoria arts community. The building is currently designed with three performing arts venues seating from 60 to 260 patrons upstairs. As we’ve mentioned, our vision has expanded to a performing arts centre, Arts on View, featuring not only Hermann’s Jazz Club but utilizing all the venues. We estimate it will cost just $8 million to lease then (if possible) purchase the building, renovate it and establish the Arts Endowment in perpetuity.
Imagine not only saving Hermann’s Jazz Club and live music at 753 View Street for all ages, but also supporting theatre, comedy, other performing arts and the visual arts. The society is committed to providing more performer and student workshops, arts incubation and office spaces for smaller arts groups that can’t afford Victoria’s steep rents.
You can contribute to securing Hermann’s Jazz Club for another five years while the money is raised to try to purchase the property. Donations are needed now to the Jazz on View Society, 1119 Princess Avenue, Victoria BC, V8T 1L2 or at gofundme.com/Hermanns. Unfortunately, we are unable to issue tax receipts at this time, pending receipt of charitable status by the Society.
Read our full vision and learn more about our board of directors at jazzonview.com.
Thank you for your ongoing support of these efforts. We will keep you updated every few months. As well, we have created new social media accounts @artsonview for more frequent updates and will host public information sessions and tours at Hermann’s in the future.
Please feel free to be in touch anytime. See you at Hermann’s!
Bill Turner, Chair
Ashley Wey, Hermann’s Co-Manager