Victoria’s Sugar Nightclub will now be known as the Capital Ballroom. The name change was quietly revealed after the awning outside the Yates Street venue’s entrance had the new logo installed and pages of the 2017 Rifflandia magazine also feature the new name.
In June 2016 an ownership group led by Atomique Productions purchased Sugar Nightclub and since then have converted it from a mainstream nightclub to a venue dedicated to live music and special events.
While some may make a connection of the name Capital Ballroom to Vancouver’s Commodore Ballroom, Atomique Productions’ director Dimitri Demers says that “the name takes inspiration maybe not from The Commodore directly, but more so from the aesthetic of timeless and iconic live venues scattered across North America.” Some examples he gives include Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa, Oklahoma, San Francisco’s The Fillmore, The El Rey Theatre in Los Angeles and The Opera House in Toronto.
Some other changes that have been implemented since new ownership took over have included improvements to the sound and lighting and making the stage higher. When asked if there are any more changes to come Demers says, “certainly there are more changes to come including a re-design of our upper mezzanine, but in the meantime it felt like it was time to get on with things and flip the switch and move forward.”
Sugar Nightclub was opened in 1999 by then owner Damian Cownden. When you look at the long list of nightclub name changes Victoria has seen over the years, having a name last for 18 years is an eternity. Before it was Sugar, the 1890s era building has been the home to a number of night spots including Wastelands Cabaret, Cactus Club, The 18th St. Music Hall, Spinners, New York New York, and The Stardust Cabaret since 1974.
Capital Ballroom begins operation under the new name this week with shows featuring Com Truise & Nosaj Thing (Wednesday September 6), Protohype (Friday September 8) and Neon Steve (Saturday September 9). It is unclear when their social media will transition to the new name or when a new website will launch.