Tuesday evening, despite a full dusting of snow that left cars covered, boots wet and mouths dropped, over 4,000 people trudged out to the new CE Centre, near the Ottawa airport.
The venue which is Eastern Ontario’s largest event space, was designed mainly for consumer shows and corporate events but Tuesday’s inaugural use was for something a little different.
Joel Thomas Zimmerman, better known as Deadmau5, attracted an energetic mix of young adults and teenagers for his electro, house concert. Starting at 7 p.m. DJ’s Ariyan, Chris Lake and R3hab got the party started but the multiple homemade mouse ears made it easy to see what people had paid their $70 for.
Former Ottawa Mayor, Larry O’Brien, an investor in the Centre even showed up to oversee that the building was living up to its much anticipated potential. Having been in attendance for a number of DNA events, I can say that in terms of getting people in the door, it was definitely the most well thought out, thanks largely to the new location. A wide open space gave almost everyone a decent view of the stage and the 8 bars that were set up around the venue were out of the way.
The expensive structure’s small details, like very impressive washrooms and superb ventilation were probably lost on the fans that thrashed around to songs like Ghosts N Stuff and Strobe, but staffers definitely noticed the expansive space, using skateboards to get from one place to another.
I was there to bartend the event, so of course from a staff point of view there are always things that go wrong, (including an amp that blew and a 6 a.m. bedtime after a very aerobic pouring drink performance) and several attendees voiced that Deadmau5’s performance paled in comparison to the one he gave in Montreal, last month. But, it’s definitely a reminder that house music is growing in popularity in the nation’s capital and that now we have a place to properly “house” it.
A sea of crushed water bottles was all that was left to inspect after the masses had filtered out, but with tens of thousands of dollars in ticket and bar sales I think the men behind the CE Centre will be pleased that their vision has finally come to fruition.