For over 150 years a barn in Middle Sackville has continued to decay over time, turning into a shadow of its once useful state. The winter of 2007 owner Brian Doncaster decided to attempt to reverse the effects time had on the barn and renovate the structure into what has become one of the provinces most unique music venue.
Having grown fond of the property he decided to purchase the land after knowing the previous owners. "It was attractive to me," he said of the property, which includes the massive barn. Doncaster admits he didn't initially intend to use the barn as a concert venue, but rather had the idea come to him after following his daughter to various bluegrass concerts. "My daughter is a very good fiddle player, and has played all over the Maritimes," he explained. "We followed our daughter to music events where they play all the time and I thought there's nothing in Sackville that really holds this country bluegrass music."
Doncaster says he realized after purchasing the property that the barn might be put to better use than storage space. After seeing how many bluegrass concerts were held in outdoor venues Doncaster saw his barn in a whole new light. It's a nice big barn," he had said to himself, "why don't we just clean it up a bit, and change it into a spot to play music." Doncaster relayed his idea to local friends and acquaintances, and as the idea spread, support began to grow from the town. Renovations to the old barn began in February 2007, Brian along with local volunteers layed down new flooring, repaired walls, as well as, constructed a 12 x 26 raised stage, musician's room, inside washrooms and seating for 250 on the main floor and an additional 50 seats in the upper balcony.
"The interest that I've gotten and the people calling is just phenomenal," he said. "There's a great following to this music."
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Click on the link below to see a clip of the Spinney Brothers at The Barn.