British Columbia

'It's been a hell of a ride': North Okanagan music venue closing after 24 years

The walls of Lorenzo's Cafe in Enderby have heard the music of over 1,000 bands over the past 24 years. Corb Lund, Powder Blues Band, Jerry Doucette and Sherry Aldridge have all played there, to name a few.

'I wanted to bring the best of the city to the country,' says owner

Lorenzo's Cafe sits inside a former school house built in 1919, that's been renovated and turned into a live music venue. (Photo by Lorenzo's Cafe)

The walls of Lorenzo's Cafe in Enderby have heard the music of over 1,000 bands over the past 24 years. 

Corb Lund, Powder Blues Band, Jerry Doucette and Sherry Aldridge have all played there, to name a few.

However, on Oct. 26, owner Lorne Costley will host his last party, a Halloween bash, before closing the doors on the North Okanagan musical hotspot for good. 

"I've been doing it for a long time and it's been a hell of a ride for sure with no regrets and I've enjoyed every minute of it," said Costley.

"It's time to do something else for a while and go to somebody else's party."

Musician Les Copeland plays at Lorenzo's Cafe. (Photo by Lorenzo's Cafe)

Costley is almost 70 and said there's still other things he wants to do. It also hasn't been easy getting people to and from a music venue that is out in the woods. 

"There's not a very big population around here. So people have to drive a fair ways to get here, but you know they're delighted when they get here," he told Daybreak South host Chris Walker.

"Getting here is great, getting back home again is not as much fun."

Bringing the city to the country

The building housing Lorenzo's is a former school house built in 1919 with gables, nine-metre ceilings and great acoustics. 

"It's been around for a long time and people remember it and have a good time here," said Costley.

He decided to open the cafe and music venue 24 years ago after moving to the North Okanagan from Vancouver.

"Every time I go to Vancouver I try to suck in live music like a sponge," said Costley.

"So I thought I'd try something new and do something that brings the best of the city to the country. That's what I've been trying to do and I think I've accomplished that."

He doesn't think there is anything quite like his venue nearby, with its large dance floor, theatre for musicians and maple flooring.

"It's definitely a cultural treasure in the area," said Costley. "Something unique where [people] can't really get that kind of situation anywhere else even in Vernon and Salmon Arm."

After the final party on October 26, Costley will continue to live in the building, but he hopes to be able to sell it someone else one day.

"If someone else wanted to continue running Lorenzo's as is, they could do that, or follow their own dream and turn it into something completely different."

With files from Daybreak South

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