Sun sets on iconic bar

The Sundance may be gone, but 40 years of memories live on.

Chad Feehan
Kicker News

Art Mallard spent 32 years working at The Sundance.  He now works as an electrician since leaving the downtown life. Chad Feehan/Kicker

The Sundance has been gutted out and the patio is all but splinters, but memories of a good night out on the town are still fresh in peoples’ minds.

Self-described as “born and bred on George Street,” Art Mallard began working at the Sundance as a busboy during its opening year, eventually moving on to bartending where he would stay for 32 years.

Mallard has seen the business and building go through many iterations over the years, and people have come and gone.

“The club changed dramatically,” said Mallard. “It started off with just the one building here, it was the old Adelaide Motors building.

“They started off with a country theme. They had animal heads, moose, buffalo…the only thing they played was country music. All the doorman and bartenders wore cowboy hats.”

Eventually country music was phased out, opting for rock and roll and eventually dance music, bringing enormous lineups of patrons. Mallard remembers it being tough to get into any bar after happy-hour. The bars were packed.

“It was the generation, I guess. Couldn’t wait to get out of the house.”

“This building here [had] probably the single biggest music collection of talent that has ever rifled through this province.”

Mallard made a lot of friends at The Sundance over the years, and has no shortage of memories, like the 25th anniversary of his employment at the club, which also got a nod in the paper.

“All in all, it’s the people I’ve met over the years,” Mallard said.

One night in particular sticks out for Mallard – the night he met his wife while dressed as a scarecrow.

“It was on Halloween, and she tried to disguise herself as Charlie Chaplain. So I saw her, and I knew what she drank, so I slid the drink right up to her and she said ‘how did you know I drink that?’ and I said ‘Charlie, ya can’t fool everybody.’”

Charlie Chaplain fell in love with the scarecrow and the rest is history.

Glen “Bic” Carew stands in front of his new project, the future Adelaide Motors Brewing Co. The well-known musician played at The Sundance many times. Chad Feehan/Kicker

Glen “Bic” Carew is the project manager of Adelaide Motors Brewing Co. The micro-brewery and restaurant will replace the Sundance.

“It’s great to recognize the fact and history that The Sundance was the place for live entertainment and socialization for almost 40 years.”

In addition to playing up in Club One, out on the deck or downstairs in The Sundance, Carew spoke of the “great entertainment that came through the doors.” Doug and the Slugs, Moist, The Proclaimers, Metric, and Honeymoon Sweet all took to the stage at the iconic bar.

“This building here [had] probably the single biggest music collection of talent that has ever rifled through this province.”

Carew’s favourite memory, however, is playing “We’re Here For a Good Time (Not a Long Time)” by Trooper with the band’s lead vocalist Ra McGuire on the deck of The Sundance.

“It doesn’t get any better than that.”

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