Hermann's has issued a formal press release.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - Hermann's Jazz Club and View Street Social
Victoria, BC - 25 July 2018
Hermann's Jazz Club has been a local institution for over 37 years and was the life passion of our father, Hermann Nieweler until his passing in 2015. His jazz club and the neighbourhing View Street Social pub were transferred equally to his three children following his death in 2015.
One year ago, the business was forcibly taken over by the minority owner, Ingrid Reid (our sister), her husband Fraser and her associate, Susan Sabanski (who refers to herself as Susan Joy), without permission of the majority ownership (Stephan and Edward Nieweler). Significant changes were made to the interior of the building and expensed to all three owners, and many longtime staff members were let go without consent from the majority owners. Throughout this period, no financial records were provided to the majority owners, market rent was not paid, and no consultation was made with them on any decisions. It is for this reason that legal action and corporate governance actions were initiated by the majority owners in order to regain control of the businesses. These pending actions were becoming imminent thus placing pressure on the illegitimate operators of the club. Rather than exiting in a dignified manner with reasonable notice, Mrs. Reid and Ms. Sabanski stated on Friday, July 20 that they would be walking away from the businesses after 11:59pm on Tuesday, July 24. On four days notice, they advised staff, some bands, suppliers and the jazz community that the majority owners had forced them out, and would be responsible for all obligations beginning on July 25. Most affected performance bookings were not contacted or provided with any clarity ahead of their departure.
Despite the enormous challenge of taking over an operation on four days notice, the majority owners have met with a number of key stakeholders in the music community and are now securing the building (from which we were locked out for over one year). Upon determining the state of the building and our finances, and engaging in dialogue with our advisors regarding operational matters, we will determine whether we can maintain regular operations. This process may take several weeks. During this period of adjustment, a transition team of experienced leaders in the music and business community has been appointed by the majority owners to advise them on immediate matters and help the businesses maintain operations. In good faith, and with the help of the transition team, we will be honouring events booked at the club this weekend, and we endeavour to accommodate future bookings as we stabilize the operation and restore our capacities (as some staff have already sought new employment). All performers will be contacted in the coming hours and days in order to discuss the status of their bookings. It is our hope that regular operations will be possible shortly. Throughout this transition period, we will maintain normal operations at the View Street Social pub.
We regret the inconvenience and disruption that has been caused by the management changes of the past year and we strive to stabilize Hermann's Jazz Club and the View Street Social pub operations in the coming days and weeks. In honour of Hermann's legacy, the local music community will be consulted as part of any decisons regarding the long term future of these businesses and the property, as they are determined in the coming months. Please view our website and social media pages for further updates in the coming days. We look forward to welcoming Victoria's music community!
Stephan and Edward Nieweler, Majority Owners, Hermann's Jazz Club and View Street Social pub