In a statement posted to Facebook in the early ours of March 5, 2019, Owners Stephan and Edward Nieweler announced that the operation of Hermann’s Jazz Club and the neighbouring View Street Social pub will be conditionally transferred to the Jazz on View Society effective Wednesday May 1, 2019.
In the statement the Niewelers say that Hermann’s Jazz Club “represents an important part of the cultural fabric of Victoria. In honour of Hermann’s legacy, we are pleased that this institution will be carried forward to provide opportunities for musicians and music lovers, young and old, to interact and share their passion, while acting as an incubator for new talent.”
The Jazz on View Society have signed an offer to lease and operate Hermann’s Jazz Club for five years contingent on raising $75,000 for improvements and a deposit on the lease within the next six weeks. After the five year deal expires in 2024 there is an option to renew the lease for an additional five years. The society have a GoFundMe campaign that is already at $27,365 towards the $75,000 goal.
“This in an important step in implementing the Society’s vision to preserve Hermann’s Jazz Club, carrying forward Hermann’s amazing legacy, and to create a community-based centre, ‘Arts on View’, for the performing arts in Victoria,” said Bill Turner, chairman of the Jazz on View Society.
The announcement comes just over 7 months after the brothers took control of the club after a legal dispute with their sister, Ingrid Reid, who resigned on July 24, 2018. At the time, a transition team that included Darryl Mar and Ashley Wey of the Victoria Jazz Society was appointed to help keep the club operating through the last half of 2018.
In December of 2018 a new nightclub Indeed Victoria opened in the club space above Hermann’s that was once home of the short lived Yuk Yuk’s comedy club and a number of other nightclubs.
The Jazz on View Society was formed in early 2017 when it was revealed Hermann Nieweler’s estate was putting the property up for sale. The society launched a campaign to raise $3 million to purchase the View Street property and keep Hermann’s Jazz Club open. That campaign did not reach its financial goal. When we asked last about their status last July, the society said they were “in fact finding mode. Our desire mandate remains the same.”
This announcement indicates their mandate of keeping Canada’s oldest continuously operated live music venue open may be fulfilled.
Stephan and Edward Nieweler Statement:
Stephan and Edward Nieweler are pleased to announce that the operation of Hermann’s Jazz Club and the neighbouring View Street Social pub will be conditionally transferred to the Jazz on View Society, effective May 1, 2019.
The jazz club, founded by Hermann Nieweler in 1981, is Canada’s oldest continuously operating venue, and represents an important part of the cultural fabric of Victoria. The View Street Social is a friendly and welcoming neighbourhood pub in the heart of downtown.
The collaboration of passionate staff and stakeholders, in recent months, has facilitated the transition towards a longer term operating structure that will bring together the strength of leaders in the music, non-profit and business communities. We particularly extend a great deal of appreciation to Darryl Mar and Ashley Wey of the Victoria Jazz Society for their unwavering support through our transition in recent months.
In honour of Hermann’s legacy, we are pleased that this institution will be carried forward to provide opportunities for musicians and music lovers, young and old, to interact and share their passion, while acting as an incubator for new talent. Hermann sought to create a place where everyone felt welcome and could enjoy themselves among friends. We believe in the leadership of this community-oriented non-profit to build on that legacy, as we enter an exciting new chapter for live music in the Capital.