COURTENAY – Funding from the Island Coastal Economic Trust will support the development of a new outdoor theatre in the Oceanside area, creating new opportunities for arts, culture and the attraction of new visitor markets to the region.
Spearheaded by the Parksville Beach Festival Society, the outdoor performance theatre will be located in Parksville Community Park. It will feature a covered stage with lighting, sound, a retractable movie screen, dressing rooms, and washrooms. The new facility will be owned, managed, and marketed by the City of Parksville.
The theatre fills an infrastructure gap in the tourism-focused community.
“This type of strategic tourism infrastructure project enhances the attractiveness and livability of the City for residents, in addition to serving a vital role in creating the vibrancy and activity that keeps visitors coming back,” said ICET Chair Josie Osborne. “Venues such as this also strengthen the region’s reputation as a destination for festivals and the performing arts.”
The multi-purpose facility will accommodate a wide range of uses, from small musical groups to symphony orchestras, theatrical performances, movies in the park, Indigenous celebrations, and more.
“Parksville Beach Festival’s international sand sculpting exhibition attracts more than 100,000 visitors, and throughout the year, more than a half-million people come to Parksville,” said Parksville Beach Festival Society President, Cheryl Dill. “A permanent, professional outdoor theatre will enhance the quantity and quality of outdoor entertainment for visitors and residents.”
Economic analysis of the project carried out by ICET forecasts that the outdoor theatre will help to draw an additional 23,000 visitor-days per year, generating an additional $2.8M to the regional and provincial economy. That figure translates into support for approximately 29 direct and indirect jobs in the region.
The outdoor theatre, valued at just over $1 million, will receive $204,000 in support from the Island Coastal Economic Trust. Community fundraising has also been an important aspect of the project, demonstrating strong support from Oceanside region residents and businesses.
“With this significant financial support from ICET and the vision of the Parksville Beach Festival Society, we will soon have a new outdoor performance stage in the Parksville Community Park,” said Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne. “We look forward to this facility being available for our many community groups and organizations to bring new and exciting cultural events to Parksville.”
Construction of the new facility is expected to begin in late 2020.
About the Island Coastal Economic Trust
Created and capitalized by the Province of BC, the Island Coastal Economic Trust (ICET) has been at the forefront of economic diversification, planning and regional revitalization for the past thirteen years.
ICET is independently governed by a Board of Directors and two Regional Advisory Committees which include more than 50 locally elected officials, MLAs and appointees from the Island and Coast. This exceptional team of leaders collaborate to set regional priorities and build vital multi-regional networks.
Through a community centered decision-making process, ICET has approved more than $52 million in funding for over 200 economic infrastructure and economic development readiness projects. These investments have leveraged over $270 million in new investment into the region creating more than 2500 construction phase jobs and 2650 long term permanent jobs.
A full overview of ICET can be found at www.islandcoastaltrust.ca
For further information:
CEO Island Coastal Economic Trust
Tel. 250-871-7797 (Ext. 227)
Mayor Josie Osborne
ICET ChairDistrict of Tofino
Manager of Communications
City of Parksville
President Parksville Beach Festival Society