Winnipeg man opens record store featuring live music
Published Friday, October 23, 2015 4:55PM CST Last Updated Friday, October 23, 2015 6:00PM CST
A life devoted to criminal law can be stressful and extremely busy.
A Winnipeg lawyer uses music as an outlet to wind down from his hectic career.
He's opening a brand new record shop just as life threw a new set of his challenges his way.
Darren Sawchuk has had a lifelong passion for music and is now the proud owner of a store called Vinyl Revival.
“It wasn’t that much of a stretch for me to find something outside the practice of law because it can eat you up and swallow you if you let it,” said Sawchuk. “Music has always been one of those things that’s given me an outlet to deal with some of the stresses of being a very busy criminal lawyer.”
Sawchuk got the idea for his record store in Saskatoon in August when he visited the Vinyl Diner. While it wasn’t a diner inside, Sawchuk thought the concept of a café and record store featuring live music would work well in Winnipeg. His store will offer all those things.
Sawchuk is also providing listening stations so customers can sample records before they make a purchase.
“Put your headphones in and try something,” said Sawchuk. “You might find something that is obscure that you like.”
Opening the store hasn’t been easy. Sawchuk was diagnosed with cancer in his leg just three weeks ago and is now undergoing radiation treatment while juggling his day job and the side project.
“It hits you like a ton of bricks,” said Sawchuk. “It’s just another challenge. There’s a lot of other people that are facing a lot tougher challenges than I am.”
"Doing this has been a great distraction but it hasn't slowed me down,” said Sawchuk. “I'm fortunate that right now I'm just in the midst of radiation and it's not debilitating and I'm not going through chemotherapy like a lot of people are."
There are other places in Winnipeg where you can buy records but with vinyl sales surging in Canada Sawchuk believes there's room for another retail record store.
"Well there better be otherwise I'm in some deep trouble,” he said.
Dave Leschasin already has a big record collection of his own but he's excited to start flipping through Sawchuk's inventory.
"The more the merrier for the consumer,” said Leschasin. “I can't get enough of it. You always find different things in different stores. I just hope they all can stay in business."
Digital music is still far more popular but vinyl saw record growth last year in Canada.
The 2014 Nielsen Canada Music Report shows new record sales spiked 71% from 2013. Even though he’s selling used inventory to start with, that’s music to Sawchuk's ears.
"I'm hoping people come here and have a great experience and that we can continue to grow the industry back into what it should be," said Sawchuk.
An industry which is constantly changing but one that's clearly showing what's old can become new again.
The grand opening of Vinyl Revival is set for Saturday morning.
The store is located at 10 McGillivray Place in behind the Safeway at Pembina Highway and McGillivray Boulevard.