The St. Catharines Record Show takes place tri-annually in February, June and November at the Holiday Inn Parkway. Last Sunday, the event hosted 22 vendors and over 400 record enthusiasts attended.
Across 50 tables, vendors presented endless crates of records crossing all genres, conditions and price points. Whether or not you would call yourself a record collector, the event is spectacular. As you sift through decades and genres of music, you are joined by hundreds of fellow enthusiasts — ranging from casual shoppers milling about to collectors hunting feverishly.
The vendors show clear enthusiasm and are more than willing to help you try to find all of the obscure, out-of-print music your collection needs. The prices of the vendors are incredibly affordable, and with $4 regular admission price, the event is very accessible. The vendors also sell CDs and other various music and pop culture collectibles.
The Brock Press sat down and spoke with Chrystal Haverstock, promoter of the St. Catharines Record Show; Haverstrock has been working with record shows since the 1980s. She started simply working the door and setting up tables, but quickly transitioned into managing promotional aspects herself.
“The difference between me and many other promoters is that I’m not a collector,” she says. “I really focus on the organization of the show so that it runs smoothly for customer and vendor.”
The vendors back her up. One vendor, cordially called “Big John”, commented that the St. Catharines shows have always been well-promoted and well-organized. Despite having to commute from Barrie, Big John contends that the drive is worth it.
Paul from RPM records said that although he’s been attending record shows since the 1970s, he’s only been on the other side as a vendor for five years. The best part for Paul is the bringing together of a music-loving community.
“I’ve been in the music business for 35 years but I’ve been collecting vinyl since the first album I bought, The Beatles “Abbey Road” in 1969 for $2.99; that was a good way to start and it never stopped,” said Paul. “It’s all about the album, the artwork on it and the liner notes, and everything that brought you to buying an album in the 70’s can still be recreated with buying a new album now.”
Another vendor, Luke from Luke’s Records, explained that he used to sell only online. Unfortunately, Ebay and Canada Post were making it harder for him to make any money back, so he decided to try record shows. Now, he’s been doing it for five years.
“It’s a lot of the same faces and it’s a good group of people,” said Luke. “I really love the St. Catharines show; the clientele have good taste in music and I find that they’re serious record collectors.”
Although the St. Catharines show is smaller than others in Ontario, one of the reasons that the event is so unique is due to the variety of vendors. An exciting resurgence of vinyl is currently taking place and more young people and women are coming out to support it, Haverstock noted.
The next show will take place on February 19; for all details about Record Shows go to vibrations.ca or recordshow.ca for details relating directly to the St. Catharines Record Show. Haverstock is always looking for new vendors and can be contacted at email@example.com.