Sky Dragon Centre

Sky Dragon is one of the most valuable 'artistic' hangout areas this city has to offer. I can think of no better place to deliver one's message.

By Matthew Van Allen
Published February 26, 2007

Caledonia Land Reclamation Benefit, Feb. 10, 2007. Sky Dragon Centre, 27 King William Street. Support by: Ray Materick, Martin Verrall, Clint Rice, Katie Caroin' Buffalo Medicine, Rapheal Keelan, Shelly Gravalle, Jack Street, Alessandra Brown

I can report nothing of politics, for I have not the wisdom. I cannot match all the names to faces, for I stumbled into The Sky Dragon Centre by chance (and was ignorant). However, I can report on the 'Spirit' - which was good.

The Caledonia Land Reclamation benefit was my first introduction to the Sky Dragon Centre. It was sort of a last minute call from a friend which drew me in. I did not know what the evening line up was, I did not know what the event was for; I knew simply that there would be music.

But know this: after walking through the doors and paying the modest admission price I was welcomed into a realm pleasantly surprised me. I doubt that I could have had a better introduction.

As a voice like a cross between Daniel Johnston and Neutral Milk Hotel's Jeff Magnum bellowed on from upfront, I carefully made my way to the counter, selected my choice of herb (Tea), and found my table.

The evening had gathered the young and old, people of all shapes, sizes and colour. Even making his rounds was a furry four-footed friend, gliding calmly in and under each table. No barking allowed, I believe, was the policy that night!

It was an evening that felt like a period long gone; small tavern lit by candlelight, where a tired traveler could lay down their burdened soul over smoke and song, peacefully.

It is blatantly obvious that Sky Dragon is one of the most valuable "artistic" hangout areas this city has to offer. I can think of no better place to deliver one's message.

Although I did not arrive on time for the start of the benefit, I was able to catch most of the acts and, probably more importantly, was one of the handful able to see the event come to a close.

While a violin sharpened its last string, the applause grew. Some people stood and some decided it was time to scatter. However, the drummer patiently waited for a graceful introduction. As she made her way to the stage, a women with a strong and determined voice explained that there would be a 'reclaiming' of name that night (loosely translated and a misrepresentation Dog of Death).

It was wakeful and ironic to think that someone so full of life and spirit really had to prove herself to anything or anyone. In any case she did, and I think that with the beating of the drum she opened up each soul encompassing the room to a more positive and reflective state.

The last speaker/musician of the night was a gentleman by the name of John. His presence to the crowd was one of strange familiarity and overall I think that he reinforced what the event had to offer: Cast off all preconceived notions, examine truth and see with open hearts.

Hope is always a great way to end a Saturday Night.

Matthew is the RTH film and culture critic. He runs The In Between: Moving Pictures and Culture, which you can find inside Sky Dragon at 27 King William Street.


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