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Bijan Ahmadian steps back from Odyssey

Owner hires new general manager and floor manager

Odyssey owner Bijan Ahmadian, seen here outside the club on the eve of its re-opening on West Hastings Street in July 2015, has publicly apologized after sending private investigators to a rival queer party. Credit: Nathaniel Christopher

Odyssey owner Bijan Ahmadian says he is stepping back and taking a “much needed vacation.”

On Feb 3, 2016, Ahmadian announced that Sebastian Ankiel had been hired as general manager and Ethan Wilson hired as floor manager.

“I look forward to seeing all the exciting things they’ll bring to the Odyssey!” Ahmadian wrote on Facebook.

According to the Odyssey Facebook group, the pair have nearly two decades of industry experience.

On Feb 4, Ankiel posted the Odyssey’s new mission statement to Facebook.

“As an outstanding dance bar and performance venue, the Odyssey connects its patrons with one another through fun innovative programming delivered within a safe inclusive space that is operated sustainably by a team of genuine and welcoming staff and artists — all towards fostering an engaged community.”

Ahmadian did not respond to Daily Xtra’s repeated requests for comment. 

Updated Feb 8, 2016:

The staffing change comes over two months after Ahmadian made headlines when he sent private investigators to a competing party hosted by Vancouver’s Art and Leisure Society, and released the report and video footage to The Province. The report contains allegations of over-crowding and alcohol infractions, and the video allegedly shows people having sex.

Ankiel also declined comment. “We’ve had enough of the drama,” he said. “We want to go in a positive direction.”

Wilson, who used to work at the Lotus Lounge, promises a fun and safe nightclub for all members of the LGBT community.  

“What I remember about the old Odyssey is that’s where all like the ‘freaks’ would go and people need a safe space for partying and we just want to have that for them,” he said.

He stressed that the Odyssey is welcoming place for everyone, including those who are critical of the nightclub or its owner.

“Everyone’s going to have their opinion of the space and the people who are involved and I totally respect that,” he explains. “People have their opinions on things and I super respect that but if they want to check it out themselves they can feel free to come down.”