Bash in Lighthouse Country

Qualicum Bay hall celebrating 30 years, getting upgrades

Sheena McCorquodale

The Lighthouse Community Hall has seen many celebrations over its thirty years in Qualicum Bay and this weekend a big party is being held to honour those who had the foresight and spirit to build the facility three decades ago.

The 30th anniversary bash includes a dance Saturday, October 19 with the Maloomba Boogie Band.  On Sunday, October 20 there will be an afternoon tea dance with Bill Cave and Co.

Sheena McCorquodale with the Lighthouse Community Centre Society said the old hall is showing her age so there have been some work bees to spruce up the hall for the anniversary bash.

She said the society is hoping the renovations and future upgrades will make the hall more attractive and generate more bookings.

“This hall is under-utilized.  We had 44 Saturdays last year that were not rented and our rates are amazing for a 5000 sq. ft. dance floor.”

One of the projects McCorquodale has been passionate about is the revamping of the stage.  She said they have tossed the crunchy faded orange curtains and are about to hang some brand new custom made theatre curtains.

As well, the existing ceiling was removed and a new 13 foot ceiling has been installed.

“It is exciting.  We are now going to have a functioning theatre.”

She said not only will the acoustics improve, so will the lighting and eventually they will have a green room and a costume area.

“My big dream is to have a dinner theatre.  We want to hear from people who are interested in starting a community theatre group because we now have a multi-function stage suitable for theatrical productions,” she explained.

McCorquodale said they now have a box-office in their foyer but there are even bigger plans for the front entrance.

“A number of ideas will be presented and we will be looking at different options for creating a new entrance.”

Plans include an adopt a door project where digital images of trees and scenery from the local area will be placed on existing doors and sponsors will get their names imbedded on the photos.

She said shrubs have been removed outside and will be replaced with native plants, driftwood and boulders to create a West coast themed landscape.

“There is a two-pronged goal for the entrance.  We want it to reflect the fact that it is a community hall situated between the ocean and the forest and then number two that it will be an attractive backdrop for photo opportunities and be distinctive for this area.”

She said they will also be putting in a history wall in the front foyer to commemorate those who helped build the hall.

Back in 1980, the Qualicum Bay Lions Club saw the need for a Community Centre in Qualicum Bay. Two Lions members who approached other local organizations with their vision spearheaded the project and a committee was formed that turned the vision into a reality.

The Qualicum Bay Lions Club received several grants, which equaled approximately half of the building cost of the Community Centre project. The community raised the rest of the funds by selling bricks in the hall, firewood, holding raffles, garage sales and an auction. The labour to build the hall came mainly from the sweat and hard work of many volunteers.

McCorquodale said although some of those who helped build the hall are now deceased, they are hoping relatives will bring old photos to the Sunday tea.

“We will have a room at the tea dance with photo albums and we encourage people to relive the memories and bring photos of people who helped build the hall.”

The tea dance on October 20 is from 1to 5 p.m. and admission by donation. Tickets for the Dance October 19 are $15 in advance and can be purchased at the Salish Sea Market, Georgia Park Store, The Shoe Inn and Cranky Dog Music.