Founder Dean Reid hopes it will act as a catalyst to bring together Calgary’s music scene

Like a snowball rolling down a hill, vinyl’s resurgence seems to be building and picking up speed every day. It’s something that the founder, Dean Reid, saw coming when he first started working on getting Canada Boy Vinyl – one of Canada’s two vinyl pressing plants – off the ground two years ago.

“Everyone’s like, ‘wow man your timing is incredible,’ and most people don’t know I’ve already been working on this for two years.” Reid said. “I’m throwing everything I have at it and I’m still not even done, that’s how much of a struggle it’s been, and straight uphill the whole way.”

Isotope Music in Burlington, Ont., along with Canada Boy Vinyl will be picking up the slack left behind when Canada’s only operational pressing plant RIP-V records closed down in January.

And with vinyl sales in Canada being 71 per cent higher in 2014 than 2013 according to the Nielsen Music Canada 2014 Report, the demand for Canada Boy Vinyl and its Eastern Canada counterpart is higher than it’s ever been before in the vinyl resurgence era.

With only about 40 pressing plants in the world, the industry is notoriously hard to break in to and the reasons are abundant. For starters, no new presses have been manufactured since the early ’80s. This means anyone who wants to find some might rather look for a needle in a haystack.

On top of that, Reid has also been building a recording studio over the last few years dubbed “House of Pleasant Thoughts Productions” and has plans for a downtown vinyl store and coffee shop called “Scratch the Surface Records.” He is hoping this, combined with the pressing plant can hopefully turn will turn his dream into a viable business model.

The opening of Canada Boy Vinyl is stirring buzz among the music scene, especially for Brody Ledingham who only uses vinyl for his set. 

Photo by Skye Anderson

“I’ve been getting peppered for the past month, just email after email of people coming in and getting ahold of us and everyone is looking to get vinyl done, and the line up is down the block and around the corner,” Reid said.

After years of work, Reid can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel and is optimistic that Canada Boy will be able to open its doors this summer, much to the anticipation of Calgary musicians who have been eagerly waiting to get their songs pressed locally.

One of those interested people is Brody Ledingham, a.k.a DJ Boneless from the local DJ group Sub Chakra. He plays his sets exclusively with vinyl and will always insist on the ‘warmer’ sound that he believes vinyl provides.

But it’s the impact on the Western Canadian music scene that Ledingham thinks will be on of the biggest benefits of Canada Boy opening its doors.
“It will definitely put Calgary on the map with a lot of labels and stuff that hope to press records, and it will probably open doors as well for people to be more inspired locally to want to make an imprint that has a physical format,” Ledingham said.

With almost everything primed and ready to go, it is only a matter of when Reid decides to pull the trigger.

In true Canadian fashion he remarks, “It’s time for Western Canada to score a few goals.”

sanderson@cjournal.ca and tbortsmayer@cjournal.ca 

To contact the editors responsible for this story; Garrett Harvey at gharvey@cjournal.ca; Ali Hardstaff at ahardstaff-gajda@cjournal.ca.