12.

It’s a special thing to belong.

When The Hifi Club’s glass gateway opens and she welcomes you into the small foyer, you feel her embrace. There, between the weathered wooden walls of the coat check room and the glistening black tiles of the hallway, time becomes pretty irrelevant. You may, at first, be completely unaware of the history and culture that has been curated from and sweat into the very floor you’re standing on. It’s even possible you missed the sprawling list of artists documented in the main hall, many of whom will never play to a room as intimate as Hifi’s well seasoned and PK Sound-fed dance floor ever again. Perhaps however, you’re not so new to Calgary’s longest standing nightclub. Maybe you know of its intricacies, its secrets, and its undying ability to remind us all why we fell in love with music in the first place. That feeling lives at Hifi and hasn’t stopped flourishing in twelve remarkable years.

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I was only nineteen years old when I started working at The Hifi Club. I worked security for almost seven years and was fortunate enough to see the club, its patrons and its staff grow, develop and inspire. Lots of the family that has culminated here have gone on to start successful careers in the music industry. Some have gone on to begin new prosperous businesses and some have left to begin families and life anew. As the tides changed and life beckoned the ones who really brought Hifi success in its early years, I also got to experience the value of really amazing artists. Quality has always been the main ingredient for success at Hifi, and it has managed to attract world class professionals and giants-to-be, time and time again, from Kid Cudi to What So Not. I even met Diplo here one night after hours when he strolled by to hang out with owners and DJs Mike Grimes and Pete Emes, but that’s just the type of place it is. I’m not trying to brag.

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This place is cool. It may just be as simple as that. I don’t really think anyone knew what to expect when Hifi was first born, nor did they expect to see it blossom into the staple that it is. Many of the staff who are working there today have been around for the long haul because it’s not the type of place you want to leave. There is a strong culture that exists in those walls that was built on friendships and love for music, and twelve years after its doors opened, loyal visitors from year one still frequent Hifi’s halls. It’s not an accident and it won’t change anytime soon. The formula for bringing new and boundary-pushing music to Calgary’s forefront has been working for a long time, and the eighteen to twenty-one-year-olds walking through the doors for the first time now may be visiting twelve years from now too.

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Every night without fail, whether it’s DJ Rice’s legendary Sunday Skool after a weekend of intense parties or a Thursday with regular visitors crowding the bar, brand new faces appear at The Hifi Club. The word of mouth effect, even in this digital world we live in, has been strong and successful throughout Hifi’s years of service to the music community. Countless performers and patrons alike have called this their oasis, their favourite place to play, and their favourite place to dance, as proven by at least eight FFWD awards! I say at least because I believe one is missing from the wall. It’s not every day that Skrillex or Flying Lotus wants to come “hang out” at an under-200 capacity venue after selling out a massive club, but that’s the power of a place that exudes incomparable style and books artists that seem too big for its britches. This includes June 29th’s guest, who also happens to be a Master in Residence at the beautiful National Music Center here in Calgary, Richie Hawtin. Hawtin is a massive booking for such an intimate venue and online tickets vanished almost instantly, but it’s a show that everyone lucky enough to have access to has been holding their breath for.

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Being a part of the Hifi family has allowed me so many opportunities and made such an enormous impact on my life. I am humbled and blessed to be a part of the community there and I am enormously excited about my new position with the club in management. I hope Hifi continues to inspire and intrigue the youthful, the experienced and all the in-betweens as I have seen it do and it has done for me. I hope to see you there twelve years from now.

-Stephan Seupersaddownload (38)

 

 

 

 

 

Photos- Sheena Jardine-Olade

Stoked on Photos

Courtesy of Hifi Club

 

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