Local Music Venue Fighting For Survival

The Kami Inn City Pub or “The Kami” as it is commonly known has been part of the downtown scene for what seems like forever. For many years they had country bands and music jams on the weekends and for a time, they were reasonably popular. In the last few years punk bands such as the SoundCity Hooligans would occasionally book the pub for the night with bills featuring local and out of town bands. Local upcoming bands such as the Sweater Kittens sometimes had shows there, too. Generally music performances in The Kami became fairly infrequent. With problems for bars and entertainment venues caused by Covid protocols, The Kami has fallen on hard times. Kami staffer Anastasia Bennee commented “It’s been rough. We don’t have a kitchen or anything like that. The new owner bought it just before Covid hit. He doesn’t remember the days when we were packing it with live music.” Recently it was announced that The Kami was closing. There was even a “Kami’s last night” and it was well attended. The owner wants to keep the business alive and has decided to give it another month to turn The Kami’s fortunes around. A patio with seating at tables was set up in their parking lot area. For starters they brought in Rob Hall to play a benefit. Local musician Sean Luciw posted on Facebook, “I played live music today, first time in a while! On bass with the Rob Hall band, charity for 215 Awareness and Save The Kami! Good times just like the good old days!”

Bennee said, “It went off really well. We had my uncle Rob (Hall) and a few friends play on the patio. J.R. Adams was there and Sean Luciw. They played for around three hours. So many people came. We are not allowed to dance, but there would be dancing in the street I’m sure. It was really good and we are going to book for the next few weekends in a row. It looks like were going to be a venue again for the foreseeable future. We are now open seven days a week, noon until eleven.”

Rob Hall and Friends at The Kami patio

Not only The Kami is benefiting from playing on the patio, but charities are, too. The next music performance will be on Saturday June 26 and hopefully the iconic Kami Inn will survive the pandemic.

Kamloops musicians and members of the Melawmen Collective jamming at The Kami