The Horseshoe Tavern, arguably Canada’s most famous concert venue, kicked off celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Toronto club’s opening on Tuesday.
“This is a very historic venue and we wanted to do something special to celebrate that,” says Jeff Cohen, one of the owners of the venue. “Somehow this club won the war against dance clubs and continues to get the support of those interested in live music.”
Among the acts playing the club’s month-long celebration are British singer and former Pulp guitarist Richard Hawley; a week of shows by Canadian rocker Joel Plaskett; local favorite The Skydiggers; and a “surprise” show by Toronto’s Blue Rodeo.
Over its history, from its formative years as a country bar featuring Willie Nelson, and Loretta Lynn, through to more recent shows by the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Death Cab for Cutie and a surprise appearance by the Rolling Stones, the 350-capacity club continues to draw established acts and new bands to its stage.
“Unlike some clubs, the Horseshoe isn’t living off its past,” Cohen adds. “We keep getting new acts and drawing that 19 to 30 crowd to see them play. The Horseshoe has a magic that can’t easily be explained.”
Bands like Nickelback, Thornley and Billy Talent were “all signed off the stage of the ‘Shoe,” Cohen says.