Many venues and lots of variety in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Despite "wasteland" comment referred to by Joe Straka, Parksville Qualicum Beach boasts many cultural organizations

The Feb. 19 article in The NEWS ‘Subscription series successful’ deserves a few comments.

When we music lovers moved to Oceanside we were not expecting the “wasteland” referred to by Joe Straka, president of the OCAC. Instead we learned of many venues that presented a wide variety of musical events, such as Nanoose Place, Errington War Memorial Hall, local schools, The Old School House (TOSH) in Qualicum Beach and many others.

We soon became regular attendees at the fall and winter Music on Sunday (MOS) concerts at TOSH, and have been returning for many seasons. The 40 or more yearly concerts are mostly classical plus a mix of jazz, folk, world music, and other genres. The featured musicians come from such musical hot-beds as Seattle, Portland, Philadelphia, St. Petersburg, Vancouver, Victoria, Hornby Island, Orcas Island, and even Toronto and Montreal. The drawing room atmosphere of the 100-seat concert gallery at TOSH and the knowledgeable response of the audiences consistently draws praise from visiting musicians.

As well as the regular MOS concerts, TOSH presents a Harvest of Music mini-series each fall which includes visits by guest musicians to several area schools and retirement homes; and on special occasions in the summer puts on outdoor concerts featuring such special guests as Taiko drummers from Japan and the Nanaimo Concert Band.

The support for the music programs at TOSH is shown by high percentages of season tickets sold and of sold-out concerts. Also, support from local businesses is equally solid and appreciated.

Community recognition of the efforts of TOSH volunteers and staff was highlighted by nomination in 2010 of both the Executive Director and the Director of Music Programming to the BC Community Achievement Award. This recognition was covered by The NEWS, which often includes details of upcoming musical events (such as the article that triggered this letter).

To conclude our comments, perhaps we could suggest that Straka discusses with two of his board the one hour meeting that they had with the board of TOSH recently to exchange ideas and options for more cooperation with the many cultural organizations of Oceanside.

Cliff and Carol Anderson

Parksville

Mike Green, VP, TOSH

Qualicum Beach

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