In a Local Motion piece published in the Straight in March, Shipyards’ guitarist Jarrett Evan Samson discussed his desire to do something about Vancouver’s relentless venue woes. It appears he meant it. The Safe Amplification Site Society Web site was launched May 19 to start generating funds for a permanent, legal, alcohol-free, all-ages space for music and arts events. The SASS is registered as a nonprofit organization, with Samson and fellow musicians Ryan McCormick, Caitlin Gilroy, and David Mattatall as its board of directors. “The idea is that it’s 100-percent legitimate,” Samson told the Straight. “I want the venue to stay open, so it’ll be by the book. Then bands know they have a place to play, they’ll get paid, and the show isn’t gonna be shut off at 11. It’ll be a reliable venue, especially for younger bands.”
Samson said that the SASS needs to be “financially sustainable” before a location is secured. “We wanna be sure when the doors open, it keeps going. So essentially we’re asking people to get the word out, become members—it’s $10 to become a member of the society—and we’re holding fundraisers. We’ll take anonymous donations, anything.” Samson hopes that the SASS will have its venue within six months, and his timing might be fortuitous. A motion put forward by city councillor Heather Deal on May 5 to address the problems faced by small and medium-size performance venues was passed unanimously at City Hall. For more information on SASS, visit www.safeamp.org/.