Thursday, February 22, 2018

Vinyl Supernova home to Victoria’s vinyl resurgence

March 4, 2015 by Josh Traill, contributing writer

All of the Victoria record collectors wondering when the next big event is going on will want to check out Vinyl Supernova. The largest record fair on Vancouver Island, Vinyl Supernova will be home to over 50 vendors selling their merchandise. Local record stores from all over the island, and even a few off the mainland, will gather in the Fernwood Community Centre to show their stuff—sort of like a pilgrimage, but for music junkies.

Vinyl Supernova organizer Ryan Wugalter started the record fair four years ago because of his passion for music. “Before Vinyl Supernova, there hadn’t been a record fair in Victoria since 1988,” says Wugalter. “There was an obvious niche waiting to be filled, and more and more people have been coming through the door. I’m very happy with the way everything is going.”

Victoria is known for its strong arts culture, so it makes sense that there would be an annual record fair here. Jason Flower, owner of the newly opened Supreme Echo record store on Government Street, has been a vendor at past Vinyl Supernova events and says they are a wonderful chance to do some record shopping.

People looking through the piles of records at a previous Vinyl Supernova event in Fernwood (photo provided).


“I’ve gone to every one of them,” says Flower. “They’re great and they keep getting better every time.”

Vinyl Supernova is also known for selling rare vinyl, says Flower.

“People are looking for a lost, used gem,” he says.

Flower is no newcomer to the music scene here in Victoria. He’s played in local bands such as Mexican Power Authority and Ruby Karinto and even started his own record label, which he has recently used to reissue vinyl releases from obscure boundary-pushing Canadian bands from decades past. Interesting, experienced vendors such as Flower, all showing what they’ve got, should be Vinyl Supernova’s biggest draw.

Vinyl has been making a bit of a comeback in recent years, which is a bit surprising considering we’re in the age where music is available to anyone with an internet connection.

“The internet has changed everything regarding arts and culture,” says Flower.

Vinyl enthusiasts like Flower and Wugalter say printed records and even CDs hold a certain magic that a library of mp3s just can’t match. Record collecting isn’t for everyone, but for people who love music deeply, it makes sense to be able to collect your passion in a physical medium.

“It’s just enjoyable to have a collection; the artwork is so big, and the sound, of course, is amazing,” says Wugalter. Along with the magic of physically owning music, the resurgence of vinyl allows events like this to be hosted. Physical mediums of music give birth to record fairs like this one, and, thanks to the re-popularization of vinyl, Victoria is now home to its first ongoing record fair in over 20 years.

“A city of this size not having a record fair for that long just seems so crazy to me,” says Wugalter.

Not only does this get record stores and fans stirring with excitement, but it also has a positive effect on the Victoria music scene in general.

“I just love that everyone that’s going there has one thing on their mind, and it’s music,” says Wugalter. “I’d just like to see everyone in Victoria who collects records… I just want them all to know that it’s happening. It’s nice to be around likeminded people.”

Vinyl Supernova
10 am-4 pm March 21
$2, Fernwood Community Centre

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