A look into one of Calgary's most recognized music venues
By Alexandra Rabbitte | firstname.lastname@example.org
Tucked into Inglewood, with a classic marquee sign out front the Ironwood Stage and Grill has its fair share of stories to tell.
Walking into the Ironwood Stage and Grill, you get an instant live music venue vibe, dimly lit with friendly staff who seem as though it is there home away from home, with lights lining the walls and guitars propped up against the stage.
Pat MacIntyre, who owns the popular music venue, saw the potential in Calgary.
“Being from Halifax, everyone plays music in the Maritimes—They look at the Maritimes of being musical. To me, it’s no more musical than any other part of the world. It’s a matter of letting it happen. Every city is musical, and I’d like to break down any barriers,” says MacIntyre.
The vision for Ironwood was simple, live original music and no cover bands. The Ironwood hosts 430 shows a year, every year. From big names flying in from all pockets of the globe to local artists, the venue is known for hosting a good time with plenty to eat and drink.
“I’m fortunate enough to be able to support the local artists, on a level where they are perceived as being people who play in a place with a reputation. They deserve to play here, they sell out the place,” MacIntyre says. “It’s the musicians that support the venue, its not the venue supporting the musicians. It’s a unique relationship”
“I look at the people that have come through this place, like Tom Phillips and Dave McCann, and Steve Coffey, and JJ Shiplett—They come to perform, to have a good time and their hearts are in the right place.”
The relationship between venue and the artist seems to be a strong one, with the walls of the office in the Ironwood covered in obscure notes of gratitude, inspiration and lyrics, it would seem as though every artist who has walked through these doors has a story to tell.
“It’s like, someone’s coming to your house to play music, and they just drove from Edmonton or Winnipeg. And they probably played a place the night before, it surprises the living shit out of me, but a lot of bar owners are like ‘hi, go put your stuff in a corner there’ instead of ‘holy shit you drove all the way here to play, do you want some coffee? the sound man is waiting to help you out, are you hungry?’” says MacIntyre.
“Someone’s coming to your house to play, you’ve gotta take care of them.”
For a place to sneak away from the craziness of the city, the Ironwood Stage and Grill is the place to unwind with incredible music and a drink in your hand.