Nick Blasko sees the live music scene changing in Victoria for the better with the joining of Atomique Productions Ltd. with national entertainment company The MRG Group.
Not only does the deal for MRG to acquire Atomique guarantee the Rifflandia Festival will return to the city in 2020, the Atomique co-founder said, the broader scale at which MRG operates will help bring even more high-level concerts and musicians here.
“This was more about making sure we could continue to try and punch through what we see as the ceiling here (for live entertainment) in Victoria,” he said. The deal and MRG’s clout in the industry should bring a wider range of shows here and “more great concerts,” Blasko added.
Blasko, who founded music and event promotions company Atomique with Dimitri Demers in 1999, has known MRG Group president Matt Gibbons for many years and said he respects the entertainment network he’s built across the country.
“I think this will be a nice addition to Victoria that this company will be here, to the benefit of eventgoers and mainly concertgoers,” Blasko said.
In a related move, MRG has also purchased the 575-seat Capital Ballroom on Yates Street from a consortium of local investors who secured it three years ago. It will take over management of the venue from Atomique.
MRG now owns and operates 14 properties across the country, including the Vogue Theatre and five other cabarets and live music venues in Vancouver. Its concert promotion division MRG Concerts grew out of its entertainment branch and produces more than 800 shows per year.
“My colleagues and I have a lot of respect for Nick, Dimitri and their team. We are excited to use our national presence to bring more experiences to Vancouver Island and build on the history and commitment to concerts and events that Atomique has cultivated on Vancouver Island,” Gibbons said in a release.