CHEK Upside: Victoria print shop offering services free of charge to live-event companies


At Metropol printing headquarters the live event posters are flying hot off the press.

It’s owner Steve Webb’s way of giving back to an industry that helped him build his business.

“About 18, 19 years ago we started as a gig poster distribution company,” says Webb.

“We’ve always been very connected to the live music, the arts, theatre and that’s something we’re proud of,” adds Webb.

When live events began making a comeback Webb enlisted the help of a local software developer to create, a site where live event companies can submit poster designs to be printed off and distributed free of charge.

“Since we happen to have this poster system that we’ve built over the 18, 19 years of Metropol it’s a very efficient way to distribute posters in large quantities,” says Webb.

“By opening that up as a free model we’re able to sort of get the posters out to the groups that need them,” adds Webb.

The service comes as a huge relief to small venues like the Phoenix Bar and Grill, a hot spot for Greater Victoria’s punk rock scene that has suffered through the pandemic.

“They’ve taken a hat that we’d all wear, they’ve taken that off of us and the leg work to put up the posters let alone the printing costs and to get out and find the time to put them up,” says general manager Jennie Turner.

“As a small family business it’s all down to us and now that somebody’s taken that off of us it’s incredible,” adds Turner.

There are also plans for the website to act as a virtual time capsule for the pandemic arts scene.

“We like the idea of Vic Posters to live on sort of as an archive of the arts and community and theatre events that happened from the end of the pandemic on,” says Webb.

So far there’s no end date in sight for the program, with Webb hoping the posters keep coming.

“We’re going to take care of things on this end as long as we can,” says Webb.

To submit a poster to be printed or to see previous poster designs visit the Vic Posters website.

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Cole SorensonCole Sorenson

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