The office of the Mayor of Vancouver has named Thursday, June 23rd 2022 as Mel Warner Day in the city of Vancouver.
Mel Warner has been a fixture in Vancouver’s music community for the last four decades, and the premier independent concert promoter of reggae and world beat music in Vancouver. Working over the years with such acts as SHAGGY, Ellie Matt & Gi Brass Band, Beenie Man Seal Paul, Jimmy Cliff, Chronixx, UB40, Burning Spear, Toots and The Maytal’s, Byron Lee, Machel Montano, Damian Marley, Stephen Marley, Ziggy Marley as well as many local acts from Small Axe, Tropical Breeze, Soul Survivors, Iranimoo and many more.
The day makes doubly special, as Warner that night will be inducted into the British Columbia Entertainment Hall of Fame as a pioneer, in a short induction event that will happen on stage at the Commodore Ballroom, prior to the Bob Marley’s legendary backing group the Wailers coming on stage that night, that will feature brief speeches from Live Nation Western Canada President Paul Haagenson, BC Entertainment HOF President Bill Allman, representatives from City Hall, with emcee Vancouver Historian and author of Live at the Commodore: the Story of Vancouver’s Historic Commodore Ballroom.
“There aren’t many people who you can point to and say they single-handedly made Vancouver a better place,” says Chapman. “But Warner as a local concert promoter is really responsible for bringing a lot of reggae and world beat music to Vancouver, introducing new sounds to the city, and taking a chance on some acts when the larger talent bookers didn’t. That might have been easy in a place like Toronto with a bigger Caribbean Canadian population, but here in Vancouver—Warner did it by perseverance and his great taste in music. Other cities were not as fortunate to have somebody like him doing what he was doing at the grassroots level in the city, and we as a city are better for it.”
There will be an BC Entertainment Hall of Fame/Mel Warner Day after-party on June 25th 2022 at the Imperial Theatre (319 Main Street) for a by-popular-demand 2nd Vancouver engagement by the Wailers that evening.
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