Long hailed as a cultural hub in downtown Toronto, the Cameron House is widening its music world influence with a record label spotlighting key artists from its storied stage.
Building on the venue's reputation for curating, nurturing and championing a range of artists since 1981, Cameron House Records is a new independent label connected with major industry player Warner.
"Working here, you see tons and tons of artists and many of them are really, really talented," Cameron House manager and label co-owner Cosmo Ferraro told CBC News.
"It was just an idea we had casually at first and it's built on a way of helping [artists] onto their next stage and staying with them and their career as it progresses."
'It's always been an open stage, but there is somebody within this building that had an eye for talent, that had an ear for talent, and supported them'—Steve Kane, Warner Music Canada
So far, the acts they've worked with on the community-driven label have been budding musicians trying to make a name for themselves with debut releases. One artist on their roster is Devin Cuddy, the piano-playing son of Blue Rodeo's Jim Cuddy.
The Queen Street West institution has always been a live music venue with a carefully selected performance slate, according to Warner Music Canada president Steve Kane.
"It's always been an open stage, but there is somebody within this building that had an eye for talent, that had an ear for talent, and supported them."
Ferraro and business partner Mike McKeown say the label is a natural extension of Cameron House as well as a way to pay tribute to those who started the artist-friendly space, like Ferraro's mother Anne-Marie and his uncle, Paul Sannella.
"We have an amazing place with an amazing reputation that's been here 30 years," Ferraro said.
"You gotta pay homage to them," added McKeown. "We learned most of what we know, respecting the art, from them."
Deana Sumanac reports.