Smiling Buddha assault

Co-owner of Toronto music venue Smiling Buddha charged with sexual assault

News that a co-owner of Little Italy's Smiling Buddha has been charged with sexual assault is throwing Toronto's music scene into a tizzy right now.

The longstanding indie rock venue on College Street was scheduled to host dozens of concerts over the next few months, but NOW Magazine reports that promoters are now furiously working to find new venues.

Several shows have already been relocated in light of the news, including those associated with Canadian Music Week, Collective Concerts and the feminist music festival Venus Fest.

Lead talent buyer / booking manager Matt Sandrin told NOW that he quit over the accusations against his boss.

"I'm out of a job right now and it sucks," he said, "but I believe I'm doing what's right."

Police confirmed this week that Smiling Buddha co-owner Lucan Wai was arrested in February and charged with one count of sexual assault.

Wai took over the established music venue about three and a half years ago. Previous to this, he owned The Central in what used to be Mirvish Village.

"An attempt was made to extort monies from me and the Smiling Buddha" said Wai in a statement shared with Exclaim! on Wednesday.

"No monies were paid and a cease and desist letter was sent to the individual," he continued. "Thereafter, the individual contacted police and I was charged. I am looking forward to clearing my name. Thank you."

Lead photo by

Jesse Milns


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