Vancouver’s Best Kept Secret
Photo: Vancouver Tourism
Vancouver’s indie folksy lesbian music scene is thriving. The city attracts some of the best new and established artists in the business and, through word of mouth, most of them have figured out that if they want to have a good show, they need to get in touch with a woman named Trigger.
Trigger has run Vancouver’s dyke bar The Lotus for fifteen years and is a music geek in the greatest sense of the word. “I remember getting a demo cassette tape of The Indigo Girls way back and playing it at the club long before they were who they are now,” she boasts, “People forget that all musicians start somewhere and it’s really cool to watch them grow.” When Trigger left the bar, she couldn’t give up the production side of the business, “the artists just kept calling me and I kept wanting them to come to Vancouver.” She has since started her own production company—aptly called Girl Gigs—and brought the likes of Doria Roberts, Melissa Ferrick, Toshi Reagon and Fruit to Vancouver’s stages. “I love pairing up local opening acts with well-known performers and I love how surprised the big performers are with their super receptive audiences.”
Trigger’s knack for knowing precisely who should play at which venue and with whom is the magic touch that separates her from other event producers and even she doesn’t know how to describe it. “I just get this feeling,” she says. After 25 years of doing this, Trigger recalls that, “Vancouver used to feel so culturally challenged to me but that’s all changed. We have so much talent in our queer community and so many people who want to come and visit.”
Early on, she organized an evening for local singer-songwriters (with a few stand-up comedians and other performers) on Sunday nights at Vancouver’s oldest live music venue, The Railway. She called the night Chicks with Picks and it still draws some of the most loyal and enthusiastic crowds she has ever seen. Trigger feels tremendously blessed to make the contribution that she makes, “Most people have to get up every morning and go do a job they dislike,” she says, “but I get to hook up artists with each other and with excited audiences. I get to help people expand their creative careers. What I do is pure love.” And the love shows.