Reneu Boutique (Bradley Parker/The East)

Fredericton Loses Music Venue As ReNeu Boutique Closes Up Shop

ReNeu Boutique announced today that after over ten years of service in Downtown Fredericton, they will be closing their shop as of February 1st, 2017.

By day, ReNeu is open for business as a boutique featuring local consignment. The shop has new and used clothing, vintage finds, paper goods, zines, and even some handmade accessories.

By night, the shop turns into a venue for emerging artists. Owner Heather Ogilvie is selective about what musicians perform at ReNeu after dark, seeking out acts that are somewhat progressive and experimental in their sound. Its location in Fredericton’s Tannery, and the proximity to several music venues and bars made for a curious evening turnaround. It allowed for spillover events, and early shows. Not the place for quiet, coffee shop acoustic sets, Iis the type of tight quartered, local venue ideal for indie-loving, red-solo-cup-totting, angel-headed hipsters. The shop has become a staple location within Fredericton’s music and festival scene, as part of the recently defunct Shifty Bits Circus,  they’ve played host to up-and-comers, local oddballs, and somethings off the beaten path.

ReNeu, Closing Their Doors (Adam Travis/The East)
ReNeu, Closing Their Doors (Adam Travis/The East)

In ReNeu’s PSA on their closing, the shop’s patrons are urged not to despair as “there’s possibility of a new incarnation.” If ReNeu has proven anything to the Frederictonians who frequent the boutique and its after-hours shows, it’s their determination to showcase new music, style vintage and used clothing, and to keep on keeping on—even if it means exploring new business ventures.

“I’ve been doing the shop for ten years and been in Fredericton for fifteen. I came here for school and I really stayed because of the music scene,” explains Ogilvie. “That was my reason for trying to figure kind of employment post grad, luckily [ReNeu] has really been beneficial to me in terms of having employment and getting to do something that I love, but also getting to pursue musical endeavours; my own and really for the whole community, giving it a space for practice and putting on shows, just the possibility of it happening was really important to me. I think right now what I’ve come to is that I’m getting a little bit older, and I feel like it’s time for a change and if I don’t do it now, I will get comfortable. I’m already comfortable. Fredericton is a very easy place to live in, but I don’t think you’re really living unless you’re challenging yourself. With the store I feel like I’ve grown as far as I can. I don’t see much more room for growth. That was a big part of the decision. I kind of just want a break. It’s a lot of responsibility, not that I’m keeping the music scene going, but there’s a lot of extra work, and a lot of hours.”

Ogilvie says that the decision to close the shop came as a matter of circumstances, just as much as a matter of timing. Her bands, LAPS, all moved to Montreal this Fall, and seemed to her that now was the time to make the creative leap.

“I lost a lot when they left. I want to be creating with them, and I want to tour, and do as much as I can with music right now. I think if I wait I’m just not going to do it ever. There’s a certain age cut-off for the lifestyle. The DIY scene is a lot of work – with a huge payoff because of the connections in the community, but I want to see what other people are doing around the country.”

“I’ve met so many great people through [music]. The summer was crazy and I was super burnt out after it. As daunting as it might seem, ultimately when I’m setting up the show and wondering how I have energy to do this, but once it starts happening I am so happy. It is the happiest I can be besides playing music. Helping to create a moment for people to enjoy. Not only for myself, but seeing everyone else there and enjoying it, the musicians are always super appreciative and that’s all what makes it worth it.”

Ogilvie says that with Reads Café just down the street now operating as an all-ages venue, she hopes that they’ll not only be able to pick up that torch, but really redefine Fredericton’s music scene in a much broader sense.

ReNeu’s closing announce further states that while the end is near, there’s still time If you want to bring in any consignment prior to the shop’s close. The deadline is December 31st, 2016, but the shop will be cashing out until January 14th, 2017 and credit can be used right up until the bitter end.

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