Fare Thee Well 2020, Hello 2021! Tranzac's 2020 Year In Review
Well, this year didn't turn out exactly how we'd planned. 2020 was going to be a very busy year, and indeed it began that way. The year kicked off with a fantastic NYE party, and in January we hosted the inaugural SPEAK Music Be Kind Festival, followed in February by Winterfolk. The NAGs Players presented a pantomime of The Snow Queen, and on Valentine's Day Geoff Berner and Bird City performed in the Main Hall. By the time the Chris Langan Weekend rolled around in early March people were already understandably concerned about COVID-19. Many events were cancelled in the coming weeks, and in response to government orders, Tranzac Club closed to the public on March 16.
It would be nearly impossible to list off the thousands of events Tranzac Club would have hosted since mid-March (that's what our handy weekly ghost calendar is for) but we truly miss all of our weekly and monthly Southern Cross Lounge residencies, Pivot Reading Series, UkeZac Ukulele Jam, Recollectiv (which has gone virtual!), Jamzac, Houndstooth Thursdays, Nerd Nite, Long Winter (it's virtual!), With/out Pretend, El Aleph Milonga Night, and so many more.
And yet, as the so called "new normal" set in, stuff happened: Tranzac finally began its long anticipated soundproofing renovations, which will also see updates to our electrical and duct work, better accessibility, and new meeting rooms upstairs, as well as new equipment for live streaming. Collette Savard ended her impressive tenure as club president and Sam Peck took on that role at our first ever virtual AGM on Zoom, ushering in a revitalized board of directors. We applied for and received funding from various levels of government, which will enable us to survive financially until we're able to reopen, and to start planning exciting new COVID-safe events.
Our membership, new and old, has been extremely supportive in membership renewals and donations (see below); and we were truly blown away by the rallying of our community of artists, most of whom had their entire years upended, in the form of fundraising shows put on by The Holy Oak Family Singers (who kept a weekly show going on Instagram in the early days of the pandemic, in support of the club), Houndstooth, Howard Gladstone, and more; letter writing to support us in our grant efforts, and other donations (musicians donated visual art, handmade jewelry, and sales from bandcamp to the club).
Mariposa hosted the first live stream of the year in Tranzac's Main Hall back in June, Karen Ng and TONE Festival got creative with an outdoor projection of Mars Williams' An Ayler Xmas Vol. 4, the Monday night Tranzac Open Stage has been going on online. In lieu of an in person craft fair, which will happen again soon, we assembled a directory of Tranzac Holiday Gift Fair artists and artisans. The Annual Seasonal Celebration Livestream on YouTube blew us away; and Tranzac's GM Paul Woodley has kicked off a new tradition of holiday videos with these sweet season's greetings.
Not to mention our amazing garden crew Linds Toner, Emily Green, Colin Puffer (and more), who've kept our green space grinning all year.
In Memoriam 2020:
Tranzac Club lost a few very good friends this year, which was especially hard because we were not able to gather in person to grieve.
Rae Johnson (March 28, 1953 - May 18, 2020)
Linda Stitt (March 6, 1932 - May 27, 2020)
Ron Gaskin (April 16, 1949 - August 18, 2020)
What's in the pipes for 2021:
When we finish our renovations, Tranzac Club is looking forward to using our space (pending COVID restrictions) for rehearsals, filming and live streams that showcase Tranzac's community of artists.
August marks a special birthday for the club - we've been in our present location for 50 years! We have secured funding from ShowLoveTo to put on a block party to celebrate that milestone.
Wishing everyone the best of health, and the love of community and family, as we wait in anticipation for the vaccine. It's coming!