A picture of the Didsbury Bandstand in Calgary on a clear summer day.

Photo Credit: Heritage Park Historical Village

Could Regular Outdoor Shows be Coming to Port McNeil?

A bandstand would give folks a place to perform outside

Local talent could have a new home by next summer

The Gate House Theatre has a proposal to bring more outdoor entertainment to Port McNeil. They want the town to have a bandstand.

Not the bandstand in the picture here. That one is in Calgary. They want one built just for Port McNeil, and they want it close to the waterfront.

Gord Oppen, president of the Gate House Theatre, made his pitch to council back in March. The theatre will apply for a $50,000 grant for the project, but the bandstand will be on public land.

The money will come from the Island Coastal Economic Trust’s (ICET)THRIVE Small Capital Project if the grant is successful. The THRIVE project is also funding upgrades to outdoor community space in Port Hardy.

Oppen knows the THRIVE money won’t be enough to cover the whole project. “It’s still a beginning,” he told council. “There’s several other grants we can also apply for.”

And why not have a bandstand? They’re great for the community. Local talented folks can put on shows and bring people together in the great outdoors. And it’s a spot for out-of-town performers, too.

They’re also good for business. Shows bring people from all over the place. Folks can see the show and then hit up local restaurants and shops.

If all goes well, Gate House Theatre hopes to have the band stand up and running for summer 2023.