Reaction To The News
"Without C'est What (nia), toronto musicians and artists have no unique venue to stage their talents...it was my first venue, and I went on to tour all over the world, sing and record with David Bowie, sign a major label deal, get radio airplay all across canada, get nominated for 3 Junos. C'est What was the all-important place of my beginnings, a place I would gladly play again in order to save it's future...the place where dreams are made. This isn't a regular bar or concert venue, it is a haven for new music and for great careers in the making."
Emm Gryner, Singer / Songwriter
Pardon my french, but holy s**t. That's awful news. It breaks my heart to hear the place might close...
- Tabassum Siddiqui, Toronto music/arts writer and editor (The Varsity, Eye Weekly, Exclaim, others)
"No longer a place for music and community. No longer a stop for traveling artists and touring acts. No longer a place for Toronto culture. No longer an important part of an international arts scene. No longer. It's a crying shame what commerce can do to art."
- Arlene Bishop, Singer / Songwriter
...What The FUCK!!!!!! I've been talking about it with everyone I run into - and we're all stunned - it's such an important part of the community and will never be replaced."
- Kurt Swinghammer, Musician / Visual Artist
I can't believe this, I'm shocked!... the Canadian music industry will be the worse for it. nia @ C'est What is one of the best in the country for showcasing acts...
- Karen Pace, Pacemaker Productions (Publicity / Management / Consulting)
...I'm sitting here with my mouth wide open???... that room is a musical breeding ground and inspired institution for so many... holy fuck... are the only fitting words...
- Ray Montford, Musician / Audio Engineer
I love that place and it will be so sad to see it go to the lawyers...
- Lindy, Singer / Songwriter
I just got word that nia @ C'est What is closing its doors... I'm so sorry to hear this as it is such a terrific venue an absolutely wonderful place to play!!! I know the rental situation in Toronto has become ridiculous and do hope that something can be done to turn this situation around...
- Renann, Singer / Songwriter (Montreal)
"What a sad day it is for live music in Toronto and for our city's culture in general. The closing of nia @ C'est What is a terrible loss, given the venue is a T.O. music landmark and one of the finest and most unique the city has to offer. Not to mention, the venue's very presence is an essential piece of that neighbourhood's fabric."
- Paul Lahey, Leviride.
"I built my reputation as an artist through playing nia for over four years and know many other artisis who have graced that stage. What's Next and those who run it have made an incredible impact on the live music and urban communities, take it away and it will be detrimental. These are strange times, I understand, all the more reason to rise above this materialistic exsistence and think with something other than our wallets."
- Skyla Johnson, Musician
"As a dedicated touring musician of 15 years, I can safely say that true, quality music venues in Canada are not as abundant as it would seem. nia at C'est What in Toronto is one place that brings songs alive for both performers and listeners. It's intimacy creates an impact for the audience that allows artists to develop in a way that directly improves the quality of the arts in Toronto. Assuming that Toronto is the developing ground for most of Canada's popular musical artists, it's easy to see the importance of a venue like this. I, personally, have been enjoying a budding solo career over the last year that has allowed me to open for revered Canadian artists such as Sam Roberts and Sloan. The few times I have performed in nia have been as important in developing my communication with the audience as the larger shows."
I strongly suggest the decision to close be reconsidered due to the impact on the arts community.
- Peter Elkas, Singer / Songwriter
"nia at C'est What has created a truely wonderful live music environment - one that should not be allowed to dissappear in this fashion. I know I can speak for many musicinas, artists and fans of music alike when I say that it is a real shame that it will end this way. Please stop this
- Chris Stringer, Musician / Audio Engineer
"This venue can be guest to any international audience or performer and provide a standard that rivals any club worldwide..."
- Cleve Jones, Musician
C'est What is my favourite bar/pub/music venue/place to hang out. Period. Anywhere. A-ny-where.
I now live in California but no visit to Toronto is complete without a stop at C'est What.
I have *so* many good memories of the place, and the music. That's where I saw Sarah Slean for the first time, Steve Poltz for the first time, where Brenley (Madviolet) got me hooked on Raspberry Wheat, where I saw Jian Ghomeshi - you name it. Too many smiles and tears in that place to let go just yet.
- Paul Schreiber, displaced Toronto indie music fan (now in California)
There's absolutely nothing else in the city like it - it's a gem of the local scene...
- Michelle Rasky, Singer / Songwriter
The closing of C'est What's nia has been sad news for a community of musicians and music lovers. This club has given a start to many talented songwriters in the city and has hosted some amazing out of town acts. I have so many great memories of being at C'est What as a performer and a listener. Crispin has always made this one of the best venues for songwriters by having the best sound system around (and sound guy!), good promo, wonderful atmosphere and an excellent reputation. Please help us keep nia doors open for Canadian artists. It means a lot to so many.
- Melissa McClelland, Singer / Songwriter
As a leading voice in the creative jazz community in Toronto and Canada I was fortunate to have a place like Cest What to develop my new work, meet like minded artists and provide interesting music for Torontonians in a downtown location.
Since, I have become a regular on the Canadian touring scene, performing at all the top Canadian Jazz Festivals, I still look to Cest What as a place to hear new, eclectic and exciting music by Canadians making original Canadian music.
Support local culture. Support Cest What!!
- Tim Posgate, Composer / Musician
Whenever I play there I feel like I am coming home - nothing in Toronto compares to it. Shutting down nia @ C'est What is such a shame- it will be truely missed like a long lost friend
Ed Roman, Special Ed & The Musically Challenged
As a touring international singer-song writer from Vermont, USA that has played a few times at C'est What, it breaks my heart to hear of it's possible closing. It's my opinion that Canada supported it's art community and that Toronto was a hub of cutting edge music. The thought that a place that values independent art would be forced to close by just the mere hope of cashing in on prime real-estate is abhorrent. C'est What welcomes musicians from everywhere and the people that work there are the warmest, friendliest people you'll find. Shame on you Mr. Tippin and your hungry wallet. Your shutting out a global community of art. KEEP C"EST WHAT OPEN AND ALIVE!!! And put your starbucks or second cup someplace else!
- Antara, Singer / Songwriter, Vermont, USA