Record swap gets heavy

‘The music’s a little loud, but that’s okay.’

Olivia Norquay and Mike Requeima, organizers of Tiny and Mean's Heavy Metal Flea Market, at the Good Will Social Club.

Photo by Roi Jones

Olivia Norquay and Mike Requeima have both spent a lot of time around records, and they’re hoping to make the scene more accessible and welcoming.

Norquay and Requeima run Tiny and Mean’s Record Swaps and the upcoming Heavy Metal Flea Market happening on Oct. 27 at the Good Will Social Club. While they’ve run record swaps for about four years, Norquay says it was Requeima’s idea to do an event more focused on punk and metal.

“We kind of just wanted to do something different than the ... dinosaur dudes. You know, younger people are getting into buying records, so they can’t really find (the music that they’re into) from (older) people selling Beatles and jazz records and dollar-bin stuff, so we’re just trying to do something more catering to different scenes,” Requeima says.

The two do their best to make these events accessible and friendly. Requeima says since they are connected with the Good Will and have agreed to host their events there, it does limit minors from attending, but they keep the prices low for vendors and allow table sharing to encourage smaller collectors and artists to attend.

“We do have people who only have one crate of stuff or only collect a little bit or are just getting started,” Norquay says. “We want it to be welcoming to people who are just getting started.”

Norquay says that having vendors selling clothing and art and hosting local record labels and distributors also helps bring people in.

While Tiny and Mean’s Record Swaps tend to be pretty open to all scenes, Norquay and Ruquemia have been trying these more focused sales.

“It’s easier to manage (swaps) when (they are) smaller, and there’s higher quality of stuff,” Requeima says. “It seems better to have it focused on something more specific.”

Requeima says that because Winnipeg’s metal and punk scenes “are so split up and compartmentalized, (an event like this) does bring (those scenes) together. There’s still a variety of stuff and people who listen to different kinds of music, and everyone has their own niche,” but “not a lot of that is available at record stores,” so a trade like this can serve an important community function.

“Having it as an event instead of just a cool place that sells records ... actually gets everyone together at once. It’s more fun,” he says.

Norquay and Requeima say they want to do more sales focused on specific music scenes, but that “it’s (the metal) community that (they)’re most integrated with.” They “try to encourage other people to come in, so it’s a little more diverse in types of music and vendors,” again, because they don’t just want legacy collectors.

Tiny and Mean’s Heavy Metal Flea Market runs from 12 to 4 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 27 at the Good Will Social Club (625 Portage Ave.).

Published in Volume 74, Number 7 of The Uniter (October 24, 2019)

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