Brantford has forever been known for its focus on sports. It’s the tournament capital of Ontario and the birthplace of hockey’s “Great One,” but Brantford has more to offer than just sports and jocks – it’s got music.

When you get to town, one of the first places you should check out is The Ford Plant. Located on the corner of King and Colborne, this small, not-for-profit venue has been host to a varied array of musical talents including the Arcade Fire, the Stills and Blue Rodeo.

For owner Tim Ford, creating a setting like this wasn’t an option – it was a necessity.

“This is our gift to Brantford,” says Ford. “We used to put on shows in basements and halls, but we knew we wanted to create a segregated community-based headquarters where people can go and know they’ll hear good music”.

The Ford Plant is an all-ages venue that holds around 100 people. Its grungy exterior might be slightly off-putting, but the atmosphere inside is eclectic and energetic.

For Ford, the space began gaining community recognition with big named bands like Blue Rodeo.

“They were a turning point of acceptance for us,” explains Ford, “because before this people didn’t understand that it’s about creating a community that centers around artistic development rather than making money.”

The Ford Plant is host to shows one to two times a week, and its only expectation from bands is to play unique and new music.

“We’ve had indie rockers, hip hop shows and even jazz – all we ask is that the songs are original.”

It seems that Ford looks for the bands to be as individual and extraordinary as the venue itself. Not only did Alexander Graham Bell used to hang out in the apartment upstairs to write and create ideas but just a few weeks ago, they had some strange occurrences throughout the night as a group of ghost hunters sought out the paranormal. The next time, or the first time that you check out the Ford Plant, you might want to bring a flashlight.

Check out www.thefp.ca for more info on upcoming Ford Plant performances.