Patricia Berry has turned Crofton in to Cowichan Valley’s live music destination. Through her company, Berry Music Co, she has grown a thriving live music scene at Osborne Bay Pub from the ground up.
“There’s no other bar in the Cowichan Valley that has what we have, with a professional stage, sound, and lighting. We have three in house sound technicians that are all heavily involved in the industry,” Berry said.
Berry has a background in business management, but had no prior experience as a music promoter. She’s spent most of her life working multiple jobs, and is a Vancouver Island University graduate. Her studies were in philosophy, psychology, and anthropology. After everything she’s done, she came to Osborne Bay Pub with a mission to turn the pub’s business around.
“I realized the way to do it was through live music,” Berry said. “This place, this venue, that’s what it’s made for. The lack of [live music] in the Valley, that’s how I’d get people to come out here, was to provide something that needed a niche. It’s an exceptional, different experience here.”
Her success came in under six months. The past 12 shows have all been sold out, and Berry expects that trend to continue. In her 10 months of running social media for Osborne Bay, she’s grown the amount of followers from 100 to 1500. Berry Music Company has over 6000 followers across all social media platforms.
“There was a huge learning curve, I spent a lot of hours online,” Berry said. “I’m very self taught. I’ve been on my own, doing my own thing for my whole life, so I’m good at figuring stuff out, and what needs to happen.”
Residents of the Cowichan Valley are not the only ones who are taking note of Berry’s success. Christine Blanchette, host and producer of multiple series including Closing Act, a program that interviews musicians and Canadians making significant contributions to the local music scene. The show airs on Novus TV, and YouTube. Blanchette came from Vancouver to interview Berry about her work with Osborne Bay pub.
“What Patricia is doing is amazing,” Blanchette said. “It’s about live music, which I think is so important for musicians, and I believe in it too, because my passion is music, it’s keeping the music alive.”
Blanchette was also there to interview Russell Marsland, an established guitarist who has played shows around the world since the 1970s. He performed with Lovestruck, a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute on May 25. That show was also sold out with a waiting list of more than 50 people.
The episode of Closing Act featuring Berry, Marsland, and Osborne Bay Pub will air in June. Be sure to follow The Closing Act on YouTube to watch the episode when it goes live. And visit osbornebaypub.com for more information on upcoming shows and live music events.