Military engineers helping to build new stage at Filberg Park in Comox

The 19 Wing Comox 191 Construction Engineering Flight sub-unit is volunteering some sweat equity to construct a new Filberg Park mainstage.

Filberg Park president Mo MacKendrick appreciates the work 191 Construction Engineering Flight sub-unit of 19 Wing Comox volunteers have put into the new mainstage at Filberg Park.

The 191 Construction Engineering Flight sub-unit of 19 Wing Comox is volunteering some sweat equity to construct a new mainstage in time for the next Filberg Festival.

Like the Habitat for Humanity house in Courtenay, the project provides an avenue for the base to give back to the community over the long-term.

“These are the kinds of projects that are certainly something that they do,” Capt. Trevor Reid said Friday. “Basically these are members who will deploy overseas and set up shop for the air force.”

The stage will be replaced by a timberframe structure on a concrete pad at Filberg Park in Comox, containing better capabilities for acoustics and lighting. It will be named the Comox Rotary Stage, used for the annual festival and for the Summer Sound Series.

“The contribution from the 19 Wing construction and engineers means that we can do this; otherwise, we couldn’t do it,” said Mo MacKendrick, president of the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park Association. “And then we have our volunteers.”

She notes two maintenance committee volunteers — Kevin Moore and Allan Morrison — who are managing and co-ordinating the project. The association hopes the stage will be constructed by June 12.

Along with the donated labour from 19 Wing, the project has come into fruition through fundraising and grants. Comox Rotary gave $15,000 while the Comox Valley Community Foundation and Coastal Community Credit Union have each kicked in $5,000.

Rotarians will do the rock facade work.

The association continues to supplement the project with raffle money, which exceeds $22,000.

“What it’s creating, what we hope, is a legacy for the future of this community, and that there will be a quality performing venue here in the park,” MacKendrick said. “It will really open up opportunities for us as an association and for the community.”

The annual Filberg Festival — a celebration of art, crafts and music — is scheduled for Aug. 1 to 4.