Club Soda, a true Montreal institution, witnessed over the last 30 years the evolution of Quebec, Canadian and international show business. In the early 1980’s, the late Guy Gosselin, along with filmmakers André Gagnon and Martin Després, had an idea of transforming a reception hall located on Parc Avenue into a new kind of cabaret. George Thurston, a.k.a. Boule Noire, was entrusted with the mission of inaugurating the hall during one week in October 1983. In February 1984, Club Soda forever changed the history of Quebec’s show business with the premiere of Lundi des Ha Ha animated by Ding et Dong.
Producers Michel Sabourin and Rubin Fogel, along with Martin Després, became owners of the cabaret. Club Soda quickly turned into a genuine melting pot of the modern entertainment industry. From Ding et Dong to Daniel Lemire, from Rock et Belles Oreilles to Michel Courtemanche, from Marjo to Richard Séguin, from Daniel Bélanger to France d’Amour, from Térez Montcalm to Lhasa de Sela, from Robert Charlebois to Michel Pagliaro, many of today’s artists made their successful debut at the Club Soda.
The venerable institution of Parc Avenue closed its doors for good on July 30, 1999. A few months later, Club Soda was revived and given a second life in a new location custom-designed by the renowned architect Luc Laporte. Inaugurated on March 21, 2000 by the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Louise Harel, Club Soda was converted at the cost of $ 3.5 million. The Government of Quebec and the City of Montreal contributed $ 1.6 million of that amount; the remainder was financed by Club Soda and its partner, the Fonds d'investissement de la culture et des communications (FICC).