Axe Music Sold to Long & McQuade as Founder Brian Holowaychuk Retires

Axe Music Founder and President Brian Holowaychuk has announced via Facebook that he is retiring and has sold the company to Long & McQuade. Axe’s Edmonton location will transfer ownership to Long & McQuade on March 31, 2018, while Axe’s Calgary store will, as previously reported, close on May 31, 2018.

Holowaychuk says business will continue as normal until Axe Music Edmonton becomes a Long & McQuade location on June 1st. New 2018 stock is being ordered while other items, which Holowaychuk says Long & McQuade won’t want to carry, will be sold at a discount.

**Brian Holowaychuk’s full Facebook post reads: **

“Saying goodbye is always sad.

I want to say goodbye to our company, staff, suppliers and customers. It is never easy to part but I have to face reality. It’s time for me to move on.

For the last 38 years Axe has been my life, and an amazing life it’s been. I reflect in awe and great pride upon all of the great things we have achieved together. Axe’s success from a small garage with a dirt floor to what it is today, is a testimony to every single person in the company and to the greatest customers that we could ever hope for. I have an immense feeling of thanks and gratitude for all of those have supported my many crazy ideas over the years and my drive to make AXE the best.

Making the decision to sell the company to L&M as of May 31st was the hardest choice I have had to make. But I am confident that it’s the best choice, I have admiration for L&M as an organization and I leave knowing that you will all be in very good hands. Rick Shermack the Edmonton store manager and most of our terrific team which I consider family will be staying on to continue to help and serve you. The Calgary store will be closed as planned. Brian Cymbaluk, Sherry, my son Alan and I will be moving on.

Business will continue as normal Until L&M takes over on June 1st. New gear is flowing in everyday and we are working hard on ordering in all of the new 2018 stock that was just announced at the NAMM show. You will see a wave of Orange tag items in the Edmonton store that we want to move out as we know that L&M won’t want them, so a lot of great stuff is on sale right now for you to look over as I do my spring cleaning a little early this year.

I cannot say thanks enough to each and every one of you who supported us over the years, Axe would of never existed without you. I have come to know many of you not only as customers but also as friends and I will always smile as I reflect back upon the crazy events over the years like the street hockey, hot tubs & handing out beers and burgers in front of the Edmonton store during oilers playoffs. Customers coming in with cigars or jelly beans after they had a new child. The epic store opening events. The containers of Axe Jackets. The many amazing Axetremefest shows. The list of memories is long and great.

Beyond just growing the business over the years your support has allowed us to help hundreds of charity’s in the province which was something I considered extra special.

They say “A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams”. So far I have very few regrets and as I am about to turn 60 I have decided it’s time to chase new dreams while I can.

I’m ready for a new challenge. I’ll be treating myself to a sabbatical, including some extended trips with my wife. Then we’ll see what is next 

As I leave. I want to personally thank you for all of your amazing support.

I was 22 years old when Axe was created, it’s hard to believe the years have passed so fast. Many of us have grown old together and it’s been fantastic to help you and even your kids as they grew. Yes some of us are getting old, I never thought that would happen.

However when I look back I see, a time I would of never imagined, a time well spent, a time with few regrets… a happy time!

It’s been a pleasure to work with everyone, I will miss you all dearly and I hope that our paths cross again in the future.

It’s a bittersweet moment for me. I have tears in my eyes as I think of what I am leaving but I know this has to be done to allow me to chase my dreams. As I often say “one life time is just not enough” so make sure to live life to its fullest.

I love you all and Thank you all for everything.”

Brian Holowaychuk


Axe Music

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Michael Raine is the Editor-in-Chief at Canadian Musician, Canadian Music Trade, Professional Sound, and Professional Lighting & Production magazines. He also hosts the Canadian Musician Podcast.
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