New Scots pursuing Yarmouth venue for musicians and other performers

Group considering options, wants facility to be in town

Published on September 5, 2017

Mark Davis (left) and Marc Durkee are involved in the New Scots Club, a not-for-profit group in Yarmouth looking to turn an existing building in town into an all-ages performance venue for musicians and other artists.

©Eric Bourque

YARMOUTH -- A recently formed not-for-profit group in Yarmouth is looking to develop an all-ages venue for musicians and other performers.

Spokesmen for the New Scots Club say the idea is to find an existing building and use it as a facility for local artists. They thought they had found one, but that particular site didn’t work out so they’re still looking.

“We had found a spot that was kind of ideal until we looked at the money it would require to basically get it set up,” said Mark Davis, president of the New Scots group.

The group wants to find a place within the town of Yarmouth.

Davis and fellow New Scots board member Marc Durkee say the town lacks a venue where youth can go either to perform themselves or to watch others perform, given that the local music scene tends to be centred around bars and late-night shows.

“There’s young people who have never seen Rain Over St. Ambrose play,” said Davis, referring to a popular Yarmouth band.

Said Durkee, “I know there’s young folks out there who are interested in art, music, dance, whatever it may be, and they don’t necessarily have a venue to go.”

Saying the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has a great facility in Yarmouth and Th’YARC has been great too, Durkee says Yarmouth could really use another place where people – notably youth – can go, either as an artist or as a spectator.

“We love Th’YARC and we love everybody that lets us through their front door to perform,” he said, “but there should be more options out there in the town, I think.”

While the New Scots group has a few options in mind for a potential venue location, they would welcome any ideas or proposals people might have in this regard. And if anyone is interested in joining the group or wants more information, they can send an email to

The group is planning an event for Oct. 21 at Haley’s Lounge. It will be a variety show that will include music and comedy, possibly dance. It will be free for New Scots members, while non-members will be charged $10 for admission.

“Unfortunately, this won’t be an all-ages event because it’s at a bar,” Durkee said.

As of the end of August, the New Scots Club had about 40 members. The group has a 10-person board, with people who Durkee says are passionate about the group’s goals and knowledgeable not only about the arts and performance but also about logistics and business.

Said Davis, “We’ve got a good group.”

And the public, Durkee said, has been very supportive.

“People would love to see something like this get off the ground,” he said.

About New Scots:

From the group’s Facebook page: “New Scots is a membership-based not-for-profit society working to develop a young and vibrant arts & music scene in Yarmouth.”