Tractorgrease had its hands on several aspects of the local music community and this led to the purchase of the local stage company Jambox. Now I was armed with a sweet mobile stage, truss, lighting, and sound gear. The focus started shifting to hosting outdoor concerts and servicing community events. Popular concerts like Party in the Park, Southside Rocks, 420 Vancouver, Canada Day, Terry Fox Runs, MMA Fights and local music shows like Columbia Valley Festival allowed Tractorgrease to grow and evolve. While all this growth was happening, our current home in the Alexander Studio had new landlords and a studio wasn’t in their strip mall plans. A move was imminent and plans came together quickly for a new location at the old Point Vista on Chilliwack Lake Rd.
In 2013 the old mechanic shop started its transformation into a music studio. I had lots of space to park my stage and store my increasing inventory of live production gear. The schedule was full with production gigs and the newly renovated studio kicked off with a grand opening performance by Tom Wilson and another Music 101 Series in Fall 2014. It was tough to leave the old studio behind but things got back on track quite quickly in the beautiful Chilliwack River Valley.
It was going so well that Wes the owner of Pointa Vista offered me a deal I couldn’t refuse, to take over the Cafe next door. I never worked in the restaurant business, but it seemed like a good idea. Here I was defending my ideas again, “that’s the worst business to own” resonated among family and friends. That made me want it more. I had been hosting a jam at a local pub and my first idea was to move it to Fridays at the new digs Tractorgrease Cafe. An acoustic open mic night was an instant success and was the early building block of what was to come.
The idea was to get the business fired up and lease it out again. I didn’t have time for operating a restaurant, I built the business on recording, filming, and live production. The universe had different ideas as the Tractorgrease Cafe gained a life of its own turning into one of Canada’s finest live music venues. Slowly we phased out breakfast and lunch and focused on 4 nights a week of live music, sometimes more.