Meet Kitchener-Waterloo's 'Scene Dad'

A scene kid is the term often used for a person in their youth that listens to music such as punk, heavy metal and hardcore.  They spend their time listening to music and socializing using the music they enjoy.

So what do you call a scene kid who has grown up to start a family in his personal life as well as his professional life?

You call him Kyle Wappler unless you’re one of the many bands he books for events in Kitchener and Waterloo. Then you call him “scene dad.”

Wappler runs Have Hope, a promotion company responsible for many events in the region.

“I started working for other promotion companies when I was 13 years old handing out fliers,” he said.  “It’s gotten to the point that bands are coming along and literally calling me dad because I’ve just been around the community for so long.”

As Kitchener-Waterloo’s scene dad, Wappler has taken it upon himself to keep the scene buzzing in the region.

“I’ve been the one promoting events and trying to keep that whole scene alive,” he said.

 Photo: Have Hope Shows 

Photo: Have Hope Shows 

He stepped up for the community when he noticed that something he had been a part of since he was young had started to lose steam.

“There was a time where there were a few other promoters doing the whole punk and hardcore metal thing,” he said, “Over the past few years that just kind of disappeared.”

Wappler talks about his company with a joyful intensity. It has become a labour of love for him and he smiles when someone asks what the name of the company means.

“The name came to be reflective of the whole disappearance of the scene,” he said. “Have hope that this can last, have hope for the scene, have hope for rebuilding the community.”

When the scene started to fade away Wappler felt it was his duty to step in.  There were two major promoters in the region who slowly just disappeared so he decided to create his own. Thus, A New Era Productions was born.

“I had originally started it as A New Era Productions and eventually I was offered a band that had always been represented by Team Bloodshed,” he said, “So, I called Andy, who was a part of Team Bloodshed, and we created Have Hope together.”

His partner eventually decided that it had become too much for him and Wappler continued to run the company on his own.

He has such a passion for the music and believes in the scene so much so that he does it in his spare time just for the love of the business.

“It never became something I was trying to make money off of,” he said.  “If I could make a living off of it that would be awesome, but right now its just something I’ve loved doing since I was a kid and I don’t want to see it disappear.”

 Photo: Have Hope Shows

Photo: Have Hope Shows

A few years ago, Have Hope was much smaller than it is today.  When he started the company Wappler was able to book maybe one or two shows per month.  Today is a much different story.

“I used to do around one event per month when I got started and now I’m running anywhere from five to seven events every month,” he said.

Have Hope runs an event every Friday and the occasional Thursday at Harmony Lunch in Uptown Waterloo. Wappler also books a monthly acoustic night at The Watchtower, a restaurant in Waterloo and the annual KOI Music Festival which now takes place at Maxwell’s Concerts and Events.

The events at Harmony Lunch sell out regularly and Wappler enjoys the relationship he’s built with the venue.

“The shows at Harmony Lunch will be going on basically until they tell us they don’t want it anymore,” he said.

“If you haven’t experienced a punk or hardcore metal show come check it out," he said. 

You won’t regret it."