Writings from the Wall – Elite After 6 – Cultivating a Live Music Audience
The Elite Restaurant has been kickin’ it at 340 Main St. Penticton since 1927.
Brent Madsen and his mom Freda have held ground for the last ten years. A couple of years ago the creation of a Vinyl Night initiated Elite After 6 into an evening venue from Tues-Sat, 6pm-11pm. Since the spring of 2011, under the guidance of Buffy Marie MacIntosh, Elite After 6 has developed into an evening venue that utilizes the latest in social media and technology, against a back drop of an “old mom and pop” joint, to create what I recall from film genre theory that perfect combination of the familiar and the new.
Best known for their milkshakes, all day turkey dinner, and of course pies, this year, Elite After 6 began live streaming their open mic on Friday nights. This has drawn in more and more people, cultivating masses of people into a strong live music audience. Karaoke on Thursday night has just been added to their regular weekly events – which includes the ever popular Vinyl Nights on Wednesdays. Vinyl night offers different people the opportunity to DJ each week, bring their own records, use the house collection and/or take requests.
Buffy was raised in Grand Prairie and has been in the restaurant industry since she was a teenager. She lived in Edmonton for over 10 years attending Grant MacEwan College where she received a diploma in Arts & Culture Management. From there she became the Programmer’s Assistant for the U of A student union. Eventually landing in Osoyoos, BC, Buffy became the banquet manager at Spirit Ridge, in charge of weddings and various corporate events. In 2008, this lead to a business venture with co workers with the creation of Propeller Clothing Co. When they moved shop Buffy landed in Penticton where eventually the business was sold. In March 2011 Buffy became the night manager, aka, the new face, of Elite After 6 or as her business card says ‘purveyor of pies.
Elite After 6 provides a space that is open late enough to attract the pre bar crowd but chill enough like a coffee house or lounge to attract the after movie but before home crowd. The Elite has partnered with other groups and organizations to host fundraisers, theme nights, guest chef dinners, and birthday parties. In October, their Sugar Skull themed Halloween drew a unexpectedly large crowd leaving the two servers run off their feet. In February, they partnered with Peach City Radio for a vinyl drive which collected over 1500 records. In March, the South Okanagan Roller Derby Association and OK Supper Club held a fundraiser: Southern BBQ Deliciousness, tickets sold out a couple days before the event. Derby team the Pistoleras were there to serve on roller skates to a packed house.
As Buffy roles out the Live Music venue for the spring and summer and develops new ideas for each evening of the week keep your eyes to oook events listings. Interested in playing at the Elite or hosting an event? Send emails to Buffy at firstname.lastname@example.org.