Photo submitted Cheryl Dill, president of the Parksville Beach Festival Society, and Llyod Derry, society director, present Parksvile City council with plans for a proposed outdoor performance stage for the Community Park.

Photo submitted Cheryl Dill, president of the Parksville Beach Festival Society, and Llyod Derry, society director, present Parksvile City council with plans for a proposed outdoor performance stage for the Community Park.

Society proposes outdoor performance stage for Community Park

The Parksville Beach Festival Society is proposing an outdoor performance stage for the Parksville Community Park.

Cheryl Dill, president of the society, said they’ve received much support from the community—which she presented to Parksville city council at a Sept. 17 regular meeting.

The idea for the stage was originally proposed to the city in 2017 for the Community Park Master Plan, but Dill said city staff advised the society to ensure there was enough community support for their concept.

“So that’s what we did in July and August (2018),” Dill said.

“We took some time to present concepts to the public…essentially we’re presenting the feedback (to council) in the form of signatures that we have on our petition.”

The society’s petition garnered more than 1,300 signatures from local residents.

“We received many more than that but counting who’s actually from the area, in just that five-week period we received 1,300 signatures and we’ve received support letters from different groups in the community in favour of the concept as well,” Dill said.

The outdoor performance stage was then added to the short-term priorities as part of the Community Park Master Plan implementation report which was adopted by council at their Sept. 17 meeting.

The stage is proposed to be located in the section of the park that’s near the road close to the picnic area, which Dill said is a fairly unused area of the park right now.

The stage would be raised to offer good visuals and acoustics.

“There will be two dressing rooms, a storage room and accessible washrooms. The whole facility will be accessible to mobility aids,” Dill said.

Although costs for the stage construction aren’t finalized yet, Dill said estimates hover around $750,000.

“What we’re aiming to do as a society is to raise the funds over the next couple of years,” Dill said.

“The idea would be to gift the stage to the city for operations and our role as a beach festival society will be the design, construction and to raise the funds.”

“We’re pushing for this because we know that just from our experience in delivering entertainment in the park that it’s a popular place to gather for residents and visitors,” Dill said. “We also like to be able to grow the arts and cultural components of our community and we feel that there really isn’t a proper outdoor venue to feature all types of arts and culture.”

Dill said the society has already been in contact with the Vancouver Island Symphony who have looked at the design concept for the stage and based on it’s proposed size, they can fit their entire group on it.

Dill said the Parksville Beach Festival Society will move forward with the development of a fundraising campaign and timeline which will include meetings with city staff, further research into design features and pricing.