A prominent, well-used gathering spot in the summer during the Filberg Festival and concert series, the stage at Filberg Park is showing its age.
That’s why Mo MacKendrick and the Filberg Heritage Lodge and Park Association is looking for funding to construct a new stage, with one avenue online through the Aviva Community Fund.
“The stage is aging — not only the concrete pad but the canopy we use is also on its last leg. The sightlines aren’t good and we would like to improve the acoustics,” explained MacKendrick, the chair of FHLPA.
She added the goal is to replace the existing stage with a timber frame roof, better sightlines, and options in the future for lighting and storage facilities.
MacKendrick said they held a very successful raffle that raised approximately $20,000, received a Comox Valley Community Foundation grant, and received support through the Comox Rotary Club.
With their fundraising efforts, she said FHLPA has received about 50 per cent of the funds needed for the new facility.
“We have had financial success, but by no means do we have all the funds we need,” she added.
The Aviva Community Fund is donating $1 million for projects in an online voting-style contest to create positive change in Canada. Groups are encouraged to submit ideas that will have a positive impact in the community with a budget of $150,000 or less, and can be put into action by December 2014.
Projects then go three qualifying rounds of voting, and judges determine who wins the grand prizes.
MacKendrick noted during their annual showcase in the spring, 19 Wing Comox commander Col. Jim Benninger offered construction services to help with the project.
“It still sends shivers up and down my back just talking about it,” said MacKendrick.
The original stage was built in the mid-1980s and was a portable structure that was taken out and put away as required. In 1993, a permanent stage was built to accommodate the Filberg Festival.
MacKendrick said if the project is successful on Aviva and FHLPA can raise enough funds, construction could start in early spring, and the stage would hopefully be in place for the 2014 concert series.
“It’s a very exiting community opportunity; it’s a really community project with 19 Wing, Comox Rotary and the Community Foundation coming together,” she added.
Voting in the third qualifying round began Monday and runs until Nov. 25. To vote, visit www.avivacommunityfund.org and search Filberg Park.