Huzzah For The Artery!: Celebrating The Old And The New | By Elizabeth Yu

The Artery is a beloved institution in the heart of downtown Edmonton, and has been a vital hub for our music and arts community for many a year. Hosting a diverse showcase of musicians, local artists, theatre (including an upcoming “Spearsical the Musical!”) and community events, there is a show for everyone at The Artery. For those who have yet to frequent this venue, take a #yegquest cue from Paula Simons and discover a local Edmonton gem. For those who do already frequent The Artery, you probably know that they have just recently celebrated a full year under new management. I had the opportunity to briefly chat with Philip Muz, The Artery’s manager, about all things old and new with this popular venue.

Elizabeth: For anyone new to Edmonton, or to the music and arts scene, how would you describe The Artery?

Philip: The Artery is a safe and comfortable venue with all the character you could ask for! A multi-disiplinary welcoming hole-in-the-wall space with local, craft and independent brews and sound quality second to none!

E: For those that see The Artery as mainly a music venue, what other events or art disciplines can they check out?

P: We host a variety of events from art shows, poetry festivals, comedy, puppet shows, burlesque, craft sales and music from every genre!

Though we haven’t had a calypso band in yet…

E: What fresh perspective has the new management brought to The Artery?

P: The Artery has stayed quite true the original concept. The new ownership has brought in a fresh new group of music and art lovers and continues to do so. We try to focus on the ‘art for the people’ concept. Affordable, quality and original art that speak to Edmontonians. We’ve also become a more established live music venue. The venue has been taking on more local and touring acts in the last year or so.

E: What is your vision for the Artery’s future?

P: The Artery is open on average 4 times a week. In the future, we’ll be open 6 nights. The consistent quality shows make it easy for music and art lovers to know that theres always a great night ahead at The Artery. Edmonton deserves another live music drop in venue! We’ll also be upgrading our already top notch sound system. The Artery is notorious for having amazing sound quality and we hope to build on that!

E: The Artery is a diverse arts venue that is integral to both the music and arts communities of Edmonton, but what role does it play in the geographic community in which it lives?

P: The Artery is located in a very vibrant and exciting community, although there isn’t much for entertainment around. Small and furiously independent businesses are vital to our downtown. The Artery gives its community a unique place to hang out and experience art and music like no other bar.

E: Any exciting upcoming events we can check out?

P: We have loads of local CD release parties coming up! Amelia Curran on August 1st, a massive and funny Edmonton Fringe Production and a jammed packed September and October!

And just to add some visual proof that The Artery is as cool as it sounds, here are some stellar photographs from local photographer, Shirley Tse, from their anniversary party and other diverse events. So with all these fun new things in store, I highly encourage you to check out their schedule and find a show that suits your fancy.

Photos courtesy of A Girl Named Shirl photography.

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