Shambhala Music Festival’s main stage director is bringing his entertainment experience to Castlegar’s downtown.
Rob Campbell says he’s going to put the level of expertise he’s put into directing the Pagoda stage at Shambhala into the entertainment at Castlegar’s new nightclub — the Woods Nightclub — which will be opening in the space formerly home to the Element in mid-March.
“We’re going to put that level of expertise into the Element and the level of talent-buying, and with all my connections with the agencies around here we’re going to see some really stellar stuff happening in Castlegar,” he says.
For Campbell, who was born in Castlegar, opening the Woods isn’t just about starting a business — he wants to make Castlegar a better place to live by providing some nightlife.
“It’s kind of my goal to really provide a community service,” he says. “I think that Castlegar’s really lacking that and a lot of the young tradespeople that live there are probably pretty sad that there’s nothing to do ever. They have to travel a long way to go to any sort of entertainment venue. We’re definitely going to liven it up.”
Campbell says entertainment will likely include mid-week comedy shows, “dance stuff on the weekends” and live acts.
“It’s a 600-person venue, so … we can really bring some substantial artists in that would really draw from the entire area, because there’s no other venue in the Kootenays or anywhere near the Kootenays that has that capacity without going to like a stadium-style event structure,” he says.
Upstairs, a restaurant will serve gastropub-style food.
“Nothing too fancy, just tasty pub food,” says Campbell.
Campbell hopes that the community will support the new venue, “so that we can have a great place for people to go and have fun and dance. I think it’s kind of a necessary part of the human experience.”
Florio Vassilakakis, who built the Element in 2005 and ran the nightclub for approximately a decade, is happy to have a new tenant in the building.
“As a city councillor, as a business person, as somebody that owns that property, it will be nice to see it re-opened,” he says. “As you know I’ve taken over the Castlegar Golf Club [restaurant] so I wasn’t going to go back in there and run two establishments. It’s really exciting for the community I think to get something going on down there in that corner because it’s been a pretty big void left in the nightlife of Castlegar.”