Submitted by Don Graham
One of the most iconic and loved listening rooms, Hugh’s Room in Toronto, has been on the brink of going under. But as long as there is hope people need to stop burying the body before it flatlines. At this writing, owner Richard Carson has NOT gone bankrupt as reported by some on social media, but has filed for insolvency. On January 8, Richard statement read: “To all our supporters – performers, audience, and staff – I am sincerely sorry to have to say that Hugh’s Room has reached a point of insolvency. More information will be available over the next few days as to how we can proceed from here, but at this time we are closing our doors until we can see what options are available to us.”
Richard opened Hugh’s Room in April 2001 and named it after his late brother Hugh.
With the late great Jesse Winchester as the first act to grace the stage. Since Jesse’s passing Bill McKettrick has organized a Jesse Winchester Tribute show there with one scheduled for this April. It’s still a large possibility as the room, although closed now, is working on a solution. On January 9, Hugh’s Room issued this statement, “We have received a tremendous amount of good will and support over the past few days and we’re working on finding ways where we may be able to garner that support. It certainly has given us some encouragement that we may be able to move forward and continue in the ways where many people – performers, audience, and staff – have been touched by the room over the past 17 years. It ain’t over folks!”
Some of the world’s greatest singer/songwriters have found their way to the Hugh’s Room stage. One of the most prolific songwriters of this generation, Jimmy Webb had this to say, “Hugh’s is one of my favorite venues in the world to play. The crowds are amazing and the energy and feeling of acceptance in the room is unbelievable. I love that venue.”
When contacted at his home in the Netherlands folk music legend Eric Andersen said “ Oh my God. I just found out about Hugh’s Room. I feel so sad...