Former Arcade Fire church gets new life

The church in Farnham, QC that was once owned by Arcade Fire.

TORONTO — A 128-year-old Quebec church converted into a recording studio by Arcade Fire will be officially reopened next month by its new owners, Emery Street Records.

The Montreal-based independent label announced Thursday the facility in Farnham, about 65 kilometres south of Montreal, is already booked through the end of the year.

Built as a Presbyterian church, it has been renamed Grand Lodge No. 24 in honour of its past as a Masonic Temple.

The building operated as a live music venue and café for two decades until Arcade Fire bought it in 2005 and transformed it into a recording studio with a living space that included a full kitchen, three bedrooms, and three bathrooms.

Arcade Fire recorded most of 2007’s Neon Bible and parts of the Grammy-winning 2010 album The Suburbs inside the red brick church.

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Other acts to record in the studio include Timber Timbre, Wolf Parade and Beirut.

The band put the church up for sale in January 2013 with a list price of $325,000.

It is not known how much Emery Street spent to acquire the property in September but the company has spent thousands to replace the badly damaged roof and make repairs to the masonry, doors and windows.

“This mystical place provides a unique venue with peerless sound to record the Emery Street Records musical output, as well as other high quality acts,” said Emery Street general manager Francis Lemay, in a release.

“We wanted to keep the spirit of the place alive and we will produce many great artists in their quest for distinction.”

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