High-energy event creating buzz for new Comox arts venue

Des Larson and Taryn Goodwin are hoping a high-energy, community-driven fundraiser will bring awareness to a Comox musical venue.

Des Larson and Taryn Goodwin are hoping a high-energy, community-driven fundraiser will help bring awareness and help to a Comox musical venue.

The duo is pairing up for a fundraiser for the Little Red Church Arts Community Centre this Saturday to create a home for live music in the town.

Goodwin explained the event is a kickstart to create not only for awareness of the facility as an up-and-coming artistic venue, but also to create awareness the hall is a benefit in the community.

“By having the hall open to events of all ages and licensed shows it creates a great welcoming environment for people to really enjoy themselves with their family and their friends,” she said.

Musician Larson said they are aiming to raise $1,000 which will go towards supporting the venue through acoustic dampening the hall and other operations costs.

“When I grew up, I dreamed of performing in front of my family and friends, and with the venue space at the Little Red Church, it allows youth and people of all ages a chance to do so.”

In 2012, owner Kelly Pound took a leap of faith and purchased the St. John the Baptist Church on Comox Avenue, with the goal to restore the crumbling building and turn it into an arts and community centre.

Now known as the Little Red Church, the newly renovated facility boasts a church hall, heritage chapel and healing centre available to rent for programs, events and more.

“The hall is approved for occupancy up to 200, it’s open to catering, we have chairs and tables available. It even has a baby grand piano. It’s set up to alter to what (any group) wants,” she added earlier this year. “It’s user-friendly, with the goal to have it rented day and night, with no hour restriction.”

Pound is hoping the Little Red Church can help as a stepping stone to bring people across the Comox Valley together and grow a sense of community. She noted she has had people from Nanaimo to Campbell River attend events, which in turn exposes Comox and allows people to explore the area.

“Creative people can become a unit, and the property can be a nucleus,” she noted. “There can be a lot of crossover of events.”

Goodwin explained the fundraiser is bringing together a variety of individuals from the artistic community including Mike Powers of The Cave Recording Studio, Tyrell Marchand of Martian Sounds, musicians Larson, Robin Banks and Jonathan Hinds.

“Working for this community-driven, enthusiastic project it is all about giving back and supporting the Comox Valley and from this improved artistic venue I believe there is nothing but good and inspiration left to follow,” added Goodwin.

Doors for the July 27 fundraiser open at 8 p.m. at the Little Red Church Arts Community Centre at 2182 Comox Ave. Tickets are available at the door or in advance at the Comox Valley Art Gallery and Rewind Coffeebar.

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