Courtesy of McMillan Arts Centre - MAC executive director Jennifer Bate gives a tour of the MAC’s digital media exhibit space which debuted this summer. Funds raised at the annual Rock Around the MAC fundraiser will go towards supporting the MAC’s many programs and exhibits.

‘Rock around the MAC’: Parksville fundraiser

McMillan Arts Centre event features live art, dancing

The McMillan Arts Centre has plenty of entertainment in store for their annual fundraiser, set for Friday, Nov. 8.

The event promises a multi-genre dance party, a live art collaboration, silent auction and a tapas bar featuring a signature, secret recipe martini dubbed the MACtini.

MAC executive director Jennifer Bate is excited to see familiar faces from the Parksville art community.

“We’re expecting a lot of our regular community members – these are people that come to classes, or volunteer in the gift shop, or board members who are working really hard,” said Bate.

However, she’d also like to take this chance to extend an invitation to those who haven’t been in the MAC, or for those who haven’t been in awhile.

“We know that this is actually going to reach a lot of people that have a connection to the MAC, and that’s what this is all about… We’re just excited to have people come out and support the MAC,” said Bate.

“It’s 106 years old this year, this building and there’s a lot of people that have very, very good memories of this place, whether it was when it was a school, or when it was the ballet school, or coming here for classes,” said Bate.

Local band The Apollos will headline the night, playing what Bate says is a great selection of rock, R&B, country, and ska covers with multi-instrument musicians and vocalists.

Audience members can expect to hear the sweet sounds of many kinds of instruments including the trombone, harmonica, trumpet and banjo to name a few.

Band members may be familiar to those in the Parksville community – Bate herself is in the band playing percussion and lead vocals, and Arts Council treasurer Cam McLean plays lead guitar.

“The band is made up of a lot of local business people. We rehearse every week, and we have a lot of fun,” said Bate.

“We’re a busy little band made up of musicians and instrumentalists having a lot of fun.”

READ MORE: MAC’s summer exhibit draws on internationally acclaimed local talent

In the MAC studio, there will be a silent auction set up including a selection of art, classes and activities.

The live art event will feature four local artists working together on one large canvas over the course of the evening. Margery Blom, Deb Nicol, Sheena McChorquodale and Kelly Corbett will be given a theme at the beginning of the night, and will each paint a quadrant of the five-foot by five-foot canvas.

Tapas are included in the price of the ticket, and the Oceanside Gallery will play host to the tapas and martini bar.

The night will be the inaugural debut of the MACtini – a special recipe invented by board member Anne Collins.

Bate says they have undergone “intense investigation and experimentation to find what we think is going to be the perfect MACtini,” she said with a laugh.

The NEWS attempted to uncover the ingredients used in this custom cocktail, but Bate is keeping them firmly under wraps until the big night.

“We know our audience will have a really fun evening, and we appreciate their support of the MAC and the great programs we host here at the McMillan Arts Centre,” said Bate in a release.

Doors open at 6 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in person at the MAC, or online at

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