The Union Hall
By YP Contributor

Edmonton’s Iconic Nightspot Turned Live Music Venue

The Union Hall building has enjoyed a storied history in the Edmonton nightclub scene since the 80s. Under different names and different owners it has long been a hotspot for college kids looking for a night out. However, in 2013, Jimmy Kwak bought the venue with a new goal in mind. His company, Prestige Nightlife, turned Union Hall into a strictly live music venue. “With the Edmonton market growing there was a heavy demand for world-class entertainment,” says Kamran Moslehi, Operations Director with Prestige Nightlife. “We noticed there was a void in 1000-to-2000 capacity venues in the city and wanted to strategically place ourselves in the marketplace to accommodate those audiences.”

The population of Edmonton continues to grow rapidly and during this economic boom the city is seeing a younger population with a lot of disposable income. Making the switch from a popular nightclub to a concert-only venue has had its challenges, but the concept was an important distinction for Prestige Nightlife. “We won’t open for anything less than high quality entertainment,” says Kamran. “That was the commitment we made to the community to avoid any confusion of Union Hall being a nightclub. We really wanted to focus on developing the best shows possible.”

We won’t open for anything less than high quality entertainment. - Kamran Moslehi, Operations Director with Prestige Nightlife

Great Shows, Great Venue

Union Hall is the second live music venue for Prestige, which already runs a smaller spot on Whyte Avenue. So the company had some experience in booking great acts. “That allowed us to have a background in the show industry and have a network already in place there,” says Kamran. “All we had to do was develop those networks into some larger shows that would be fitting for a larger venue.”

Now that they’ve been in the concert business for a while, Union Hall is starting to see how success breeds success. “The reputation is growing to where people are looking for what the next show is, or what the next booking will be if they’re an agent,” points out Kamran. “So the venue is being sought after and we’re very fortunate to have that.”

Experienced and Varied Acts

Another key to their success is the variety of acts they book. Union Hall will open its doors whenever a good act is travelling through town, so the schedule will vary from week to week. “This allows us to be more flexible for the tour schedules that are going to be making stops in our market. We have to open up our schedules to when these acts are available.”

The drive to succeed at Union Hall comes from the top. “We have a very vast and experienced team that we’ve developed,” says Kamran. “Jimmy Kwak has been very supportive and his passion for live music has really enhanced our ability to achieve the best possible success.”

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