New infrastructure to serve as event focal point and foster visitor attraction
COURTENAY, 3 NOV 2023 – The Town of Ladysmith is embarking on a new project to enhance the waterfront amphitheatre located at Transfer Beach Park in Ladysmith with a unique, portable saddle-span tent and on-site storage through a new project investment with Island Coastal Economic Trust.
The project will revitalize and enhance this key public outdoor event space by providing a central piece of missing infrastructure to frame and define the main event and stage area, adding protection and enhancing the overall aesthetics and experience.
“Amphitheatres and large-scale shade structures have become popular among cities looking to develop their local economy,” says Chris Barfoot, Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture. “This project recognizes that the Transfer Beach Park amphitheatre is a multi-faceted community amenity and is widely used year-round for Ladysmith’s largest events, including Canada Day, National Indigenous People’s Day, Ladysmith Days, and the Day of Truth and Reconciliation.”
The innovative and versatile saddle-span tent will help attract more performers and events, as it will provide protection from weather elements and be a major focal point of the main stage area. The on-site storage unit will eliminate transportation costs, minimize the risk of damage through transportation, and ensure the longevity and sustainability of the project.
“The structure will provide shelter from sun, rain, and wind in an area prone to weather extremes due to its exposed location on Ladysmith’s harbour,” says Chris. “Adding the saddle-span tent ensures we can still host orchestras, bands, choirs, theatrical performances, and other community events, like fairs, regardless of weather. It will truly create a space that everyone can be proud to showcase.”
The amphitheatre’s location, at the end of Transfer Beach Park, is one of the Town’s most popular waterfront destinations and a gathering place for the Ladysmith and Stz’uminus First Nation communities. As one of Ladysmith’s most popular recreational spaces, it is located within walking distance to Ladysmith’s heritage downtown core and visited by thousands annually.
“The new saddle tent is the perfect example of how enhancement to a popular local and visitor attraction can become a source of community pride and engagement,” says Brodie Guy, CEO, Island Coastal Economic Trust. “We’re honoured to partner with the Town of Ladysmith on this project and look forward to seeing how it attracts and revitalizes the space for years to come.”
“With the continued investment and enhancements in this amphitheatre, more events will take place and benefit locals and visitors alike,” said Brian Cant, VP, Business Impact & Engagement, 4VI. “Ladysmith has long been a place of interest for visitors to the Cowichan region as it is known for its inviting public spaces and warm, welcoming residents. We look forward to seeing more events take place here in the years to come.”
“Enhancing the vitality and adaptability of our amphitheatre through this unique project is a great addition to our waterfront,” says Mayor Aaron Stone. “The project will require staff to be responsive, which is important in attracting new events and ensuring the long-term sustainability of our amazing waterfront areas.”
“People in Ladysmith will be able to come together and enjoy events at the improved amphitheatre and stage at Transfer Beach, thanks to this investment from the Trust,” says Doug Routley, MLA for Nanaimo-North Cowichan. “Together with the improvements to facilities at Transfer Beach that our government helped fund in 2021, these upgrades will keep the beach and waterfront as an important area for the community to gather and spend time, and to put on events and celebrations that attract visitors to our region.”
Island Coastal Economic Trust is investing with the Town of Ladysmith in the Transfer Beach Amphitheatre Main Stage Tent and Storage Unit through the Community Placemaking program. The Trust will contribute $50,000 which includes $25,000 from 4VI who have partnered with the Trust to fund projects through the Community Placemaking program. The program provides one-stop funding up to $50,000 for as much as 100% of project costs for communities to collaboratively reimagine and revitalize public spaces across the coast.
The project is set to get underway shortly.
Founded by the Province of British Columbia in 2006, the Island Coastal Economic Trust works to build a sustainable and resilient coastal economy in reciprocal relationships with First Nations, municipalities, and regional districts across Vancouver Island, the Sunshine Coast, and islands and inlets from the Salish Sea to Cape Caution. Serving over half a million residents, we partner with communities in the development and financing of their economic infrastructure and diversification efforts through our unique structure that is led by, and accountable to, communities.
Since our inception, Island Coastal Economic Trust has approved more than $59 million to economic development initiatives that have attracted over $323 million in new investment to our region. These investments have created over 2, 910 permanent jobs, and countless positive impacts, across the coast.
Island Coastal Economic Trust acknowledges that we work for communities across the ancestral territories of the Kwak̓wala, Nuučaan̓uɫ, Éy7á7juuthem, Ligwilda’xw, Pəntl’áč, She shashishalhem, Sḵwx̱wú7mesh, Hul’q’umi’num’, diitiidʔaatx̣, SENĆOŦEN, Lekwungen, and T’Sou-ke speaking peoples.
Island Coastal Economic Trust
Director of Parks, Recreation, and Culture
Town of Ladysmith