A Little About Us
C’est What books “fresh original pop music with an edge.” This encompasses a wide range of styles from pop to funk, hip-hop, rock, roots and more than a few in between. Jeff Buckley, Jewel, Madeleine Peyroux, Roger Hodgson, and Wilco are among the international acts that have been seen on our stage with local artists performing their own material given preference. Some of our notable home grown alumni include Barenaked Ladies, Feist, Hawksley Workman, Ron Sexsmith, Sarah Harmer, Serena Ryder, Sarah Slean, and, The Tea Party.
Although our music room is legally licensed for an intimate 100 people, our attention to live production has enjoyed a strong reputation for 28 years with an unsurpassed sound system for a venue of this size. Matched with excellent live engineers and equipped with a full 24-track live remote recording system, C’est What is able to capture and mix album-quality multi-track recordings on-site for all live performances. Our great food and outstanding selection of beer, wine, and single malt scotch only enhance what is arguably Toronto’s finest small venue showcase atmosphere.
We believe that venues like C’est What have an important role to play in our musical culture. It is in the interest of all of those in the musical community to encourage people to support the live music scene. For our part, we do our best to balance artistic and commercial concerns and provide a comfortable environment for the listener, first class presentation of quality original acts, and professional technical support for the performers.
The sad fact is, even in a city the size of Toronto the number of bands looking for gigs far outweigh the number of venues and dates available. Many performers and bands never get the chance to showcase at C’est What. It is not solely a musical judgment on our part, other more practical considerations may prevail, A rejection is often due to a lack of experience and exposure as much as anything else.
We do not rely solely on walk-by traffic for an audience. There is no such thing as a guaranteed built in crowd. If you’re booked for a live show here you cannot count on the club to bring people in the door for you.
So, if your band shows up to play and only a handful of people come through the door, nobody wins. Your band goes home without cab fare, the staff doesn’t make their rent money and the club can’t afford to pay the sound tech. Good intentions do not pay the bills. Please keep this in mind when taking the time to approach the venue for a gig.
Securing your first date at the club is not easy if we have never heard of you. This doesn’t mean you’ll never play here, but that we have priorities and your patience is required.
Submitting Your Material
C’est What does not accept un-solicited demo packages. If you are sending a package it is because our venue booker has been in contact with you and has asked for one*. If it has not been requested your package will just end up in a landfill site.
* Please note; all submitted material becomes the property of C’est What and will not be returned to sender.
If you have NOT been asked to send the venue a demo package here’s what to do:
e-mail our booker with brief recent biographical material (where you’ve been playing lately etc.) and a link to your website or alternate www where we can check out your music ONLINE (Do not send us any audio files as they will only serve to annoy our booker and overload our server).
This process is much easier, faster, and less expensive than spending your hard earned money on glossys, promo CDs and shipping costs (and takes up less space in our office).
In our experience we have found most professional band websites have more than enough information and material for us to get an impression of what’s going on musically and whether or not the band or performer is suitable for our venue.
If, and only if, you HAVE been asked to send the venue a demo package mail or courier a full press kit to:
Attention: Myles Lacroix
67 Front St. E.
Thank you and good luck.
- Joan Osborne, Let's Just Get Naked