Calgary

Expect 'a bit of a circus' at punk rock axe throwing event

Live punk rock music is being coupled with axe throwing at an event for Calgary teens this weekend. The unique combination is the brainchild of Major Minor Music Project, a local group aiming to start an all-ages music venue in the city.

Group behind weekend event aims to start an all-ages music venue in Calgary

An event for Calgary teens this weekend features live punk rock music combined with axe throwing at BATL Calgary. (CBC)

Live punk rock music is being coupled with axe throwing at an event for Calgary teens this weekend.

The unique combination is the brainchild of Major Minor Music Project, a local group targeting youth and new Canadians. The non-profit currently hosts events, but ultimately hopes to start an all-ages music venue in the city. 

Such a space is sorely needed, Graham MacKenzie, the group's facilitator, told the Calgary Eyeopener Friday.

MacKenzie spoke to Calgary Eyeopener host Angela Knight about the upcoming event Sunday night at axe throwing venue The Backyard Axe Throwing League (BATL) Calgary. Below is an edited version of their conversation. 

Q: The event is called Punk Rock Axe Throwing. What is this going to look like?

A: We have these axe throwing arenas now in Calgary.

We thought we could merge that with some live music. It's never been done anywhere before, so this is a Calgary original thing, and hopefully it's going to be exciting and a bit of a circus.

Q: Why did you want to throw this event for teens?

A: I'm a teacher at the Calgary Immigrant Education Society and I teach adults culture, job skills, language skills. I found that people coming to Calgary from all over the world often find they are isolated or stuck within their own communities.

We surveyed over 1,000 people on what makes Calgary great and we came up with a lot of information. We put it into action plans, and one of the things that came out of it is there's not a lot of all-access, all-ages events in Calgary, so that is where the Major Minor Music Project came out.

Q: Tell us more about the Major Minor Music Project. What kind of things do you do?

A: Our main goal is to get an independent, non-profit all-ages venue back in Calgary, because we don't have one.

We're just trying to build allies and get more attention and bring all three levels of government on board with that.

We don't really have that access to an incubation place for everyone, especially centered on newcomers and people under 18.

Q: Why do you think it's so difficult to keep an all-ages venue open in Calgary?

A: The funding just isn't there.

We don't have a sustainable, indefinite place for all-ages music, for multi-genres. It's kind of an inherent inequality in the system of funding for arts for youth.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener