St. John’s, NL – The 2020 Honorary MusicNL Legacy Awards celebrate two music venues for their outstanding contribution to live music: The Strand Lounge in St. John’s and Wheeler’s Lounge in Noel’s Pond, Stephenville. For decades these two venues, strategically located on opposite sides of the Island, became the go-to performance spaces for local and touring musical acts.
In 1954, Bert Wheeler took it upon himself to build a small dance hall in the tiny community of Noel’s Pond, on the outskirts of Stephenville. By 1960 he had built on a 5 room hotel upstairs while downstairs he turned that tiny dance hall into what would become one the premier live music venues in the province.
For the next four decades “Wheeler’s Lounge” would offer high profile regular gigs for local and mainland touring acts. It became a regular stop on the circuit for Newfoundland headliners like the Ducats, the Shindigs, The String Busters, The Dumont’s, The Millionaires, Scrunchin’s, and the ½ and ½ plus 1.
The Strand Lounge
The Strand Lounge was an anchor businesses when the Avalon Mall opened in St. John’s, in 1967. The Strand quickly became known for its famous Gentleman Jim Steaks and even more for its outstanding roster of music acts. A state-of-the-art performance venue for its time, The Strand presented an array of the province’s top music acts along with a large contingent of national and international performers. Indoor access within The Mall saw lengthy line-ups for acts featuring the likes of The Wonderful Grand Band, Ryan’s Fancy, Sullivan’s Gypsies, Corey and Trina, The Sons of Erin, 12 Gauge and many more.
The MusicNL 2020 Honorary Legacy Awards will be announced on Sunday, February 7th at 2 p.m. as part of the MusicNL’s 2020 Industry Awards presentation and can be watched on MusicNL’s YouTube channel.
All MusicNL awards, workshops and events during MusicNL Week, Feb 1-7, are streamed on the MusicNL YouTube channel and Facebook page. Participation in MusicNL Week’s program is free. Full details can be found on the MusicNL website: www.musicnl.ca.