A Prince Edward Island company is pressing forward with their plans to open a vinyl plant in Charlottetown, and I for one welcome our new vinyl overlords. Kaneshii Vinyl Press hopes to start pressing some sweet grooves within the first quarter of this year.
The news has been kept secret until this week when the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency published a release to say that they had approved funding to assist the company in acquiring the equipment necessary for the endeavor. The federal government and the provincial government of Prince Edward Island have contributed a combined $200,000 in grants and loans to the start-up.
The idea had first been realized a little under a year ago when Rob Rice met Gideon Banahene and they shared a love for music.
“He’s passionate about music,” Rice says about Banahen. “When he thought about what he wanted to do for the rest of his life, he wanted to do something that he loved, and he loves music, and he loves vinyl, and it was like, ‘Hey, let’s make records!’”
Vinyl has seen a resurgence in popularity. Collectors, enthusiasts, audiophiles seeking authenticity and fidelity have brought vinyl to a new peak in sales, seeing records outselling digital music for the first time last year. After a thirty year slump, the current number of vinyl plants have had difficultly keeping up with orders. Rice and Banahene saw that as an opportunity.
Bringing in Ghislaien Cormier to formulate their business plan, and Dennis Ellsworth as their veteran of the music industry, their combined experience has been integral in getting them to this point. The team has a great love for music and they intend to produce a quality product, putting their clients first. “Right now our primary focus is getting this press up and running, and making damn good records!” says Rice.
Kaneshii say that they’ve seen plenty of local support from the Atlantic provinces. They’re also confident in their research, and New Brunswick’s bourgeoning music scene that has festivals popping up like wildflowers. With minimal competition within Canada, and the steady growth in demand, they see a good position to take up some slack.
“If things take off the way we expect them to, and we run a tight ship, I could foresee us getting so busy that we’d have to get more presses.”
The factory will be able to produce up to 1.5 million records a year, but there’s already been talks of needing to purchase additional equipment within the first year or two of operation.