A slide from the Parksville Beach Festival presentation showing where the stage will be placed, bottom left. (Submitted)

Parksville Beach Festival Society provides encouraging update on outdoor theatre

City’s community park will serve as venue for new addition

The Parksville Beach Festival Society had good news for city council.

Cheryl Dill, Parksville Beach Festival Society president, and Lloyd Derry, entertainment director, presented an update on the design progress and budget plan for the Community Park outdoor theatre at Wednesday’s city council meeting.

The outdoor theatre is to be built in the Parksville Community Park, near the picnic area and across from the baseball diamonds.

During the presentation, Dill reiterated the main goal is, in collaboration with the city, to build an inclusive multi-functional outdoor theatre that is reflective of the unique and diverse art community. Their second goal is to generate a significant economic impact for local communities, as required by the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) grant, through regular facility rentals, annual Beach Festival concerts and larger concerts capable of attracting 4,000 to 5,000 attendees.

“This is a legacy for our communities. It’s leadership for this region to put a facility like this forward,” said Dill.

READ MORE: Parksville Beach Festival Society launches campaign for outdoor stage

The society’s capital cost was initially estimated at $1,123,000, which included planning, design and engineering and construction materials. The funds raised to date are projected at $1,212,365, including gathered donations by the society, the ICET grant and the Community, Culture and Recreation (CCR) grant.

“We’ll have to see how everything comes out in the wash when we get to the construction phase,” said Dill.

A list of features for the theatre included mounts for an outdoor pull-down movie screen. Coun. Adam Fras was pleased to see the addition.

“It’s a popular thing to have movies in the park, and I think this year people would’ve loved to have outdoor movie events,” he said.

Coun. Al Greir and Fras both shared concerns about the proposed fencing, as Greir said it might elimiate people from using the park if it was permanent.

Derry said there hasn’t been a lot of discussion on the subject, but is aware that it’s an issue that requires consideration on what its going to look and feel like.

“We’re really hoping to have it done for the city celebration next June 19,” he said.

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