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Killarney Record Fair this Saturday

By Troy Hasselman, August 22 2019 —

Calgary’s music collectors will have a chance to bolster their vinyl collections with this year’s edition of the Killarney Record Fair. This will be its third edition, with the fair growing quickly since its introduction.

“We’ve blown from 10 or 12 vendors in our first year to over 20 in our third year,” says Fair organizer Shannon McLennan-Taylor. “It’s a broad range of all sorts of new and used vinyl. A bit of everything, soundtracks, punk, classic rock, folk, contemporary, anything you can think of is there. Along with some music on cassette and CD’s and a bit of music memorabilia and books and collectables. In the past two years we’ve seen about 400 people come through the doors.”

The fair makes extensive use of local vendors including local fixtures such as the Beatnik Bus, representatives from the Calgary Music Collectors Show and vendors that frequent the Hillhurst Sunnyside Flea Market.

“We’ve had the Beatnik Bus there every year for the last three years. They’re going to be parked outside on the street to welcome our guests,” says Fair co-organizer Lonnie Taylor. “Kristin, the owner of Beatnik Bus, usually puts out a speaker and plays it outside. We have Mark Corner, the Founder of the Calgary Music Collectors Show, with his own table. We have lots of longtime vendors that have been at the Calgary Music Collectors show for many years and we’ve made some connections with those personally.”

“A lot of vendors have been doing this for 10-plus years particularly at the Hillhurst Flea Market,” McLennan-Taylor adds. “There are three to five individuals who have beens selling really high quality new and used vinyl at that flea market on a regular basis and have travelled the province with their stock as well.”

The fair itself will take over three levels of the St. Matthew’s United Church and include live music and food and refreshments to go along with the record browsing.

“It’s quite a lot of selection that people can flow through, we have three levels on the church that we’re in. Starting with the main floor and then they go down through the landing and the basement is quite full as well. Almost all of the vendors are returning or they have connected us with vendors that they think would be a good fit for the show,” McLennan-Taylor says. “We have a little cafe set up in the church with chips and pop and candy bars and snacks and fresh hot dogs and there will be a little area off to the side in the basement where people can sit down and have a little bit of lunch and go through their collections and take a little break. Lonnie will be DJing the show, so we will have music throughout the day.”

Rare finds can also be found at the record fair, with rare imports, foreign pressings and 78’s being brought in by vendors.

“We’ve got one very young vendor who’s in his early 20s and he actually travels to other countries to buy records,” Taylor says. “I can’t believe what he gets at his age and the distance he travels to get it. He has all types of obscure electronic music and all in incredibly good condition. He has 78’s. Nobody sells 78’s, but he does. All in really good condition. It’s priced accordingly but he gets some really significant stuff.”

Part of the appeal of the record fair is the crate-digging experience, where you can browse through the collections of the vendors and come across something you didn’t realize you were looking for, or buying something you haven’t heard of before that becomes a new favourite.

“Going to a record show varies, if you want a particular album you can find that on Discogs, you can find it on Amazon, you can go into your local record store if they don’t have it they can order it for you.” McLennan-Taylor says. “Coming to a show like ours, you are searching. It’s about the hunt, it’s about digging through crates of records and seeing those gems you can come across. Some people come for a specific album but I think it’s really more about the discovery process because there’s so much variety.”

While the fair will certainly appeal to longtime record collectors looking to build their collection it will also appeal to new collectors who are just starting to get into the hobby.

“One of the big reasons we do this, if a person has been collecting for 20 years and wants to build their collection, yes we do it for that person,” Taylor says. “But for that person that has just started collecting that wants to learn more and is really interested in the hobby, seeing that excitement, that’s what’s valuable to us.”

The Killarney Record Fair will run from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Aug. 24 at St. Matthew’s United Church at 2035 26a St SW. Admission for the event is $2. More information about the fair can be found on the event’s Facebook page

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