It is time Comox stepped up its cultural game and invested in the Little Red Church at the top of Comox Hill.
Courtenay has both the Sid Williams and the Old Church as performance venues, and Cumberland (the Village of, no less) has its own venue, but sedate, military, by-the-sea Comox has only a park and a rec centre. The town has been attracting old people for a couple of decades now, but they are not brain-dead folks: there are many talented, gifted, vibrant old folks among them with plenty still to give/share. I think of Dandelion Morrison, for example, who until her recent passing, held the afternoon version of soirees in her flat above the fishing boat on Comox Avenue, where she invited theatrical friends to share our mutual love of theatre doing dramatized readings of plays by people like Morris Panych of Tamahnous Theatre fame.
There are plenty of young families with kids who could benefit from music, dance and theatre workshops, and it is acoustically a very acceptable venue for small musical performances. I rented the space to host my daughter’s wedding reception, and the kitchen facilities were very adequate and catered for our 80+ guests. Already small religious groups have found a home there and artists have held exhibitions of their work.
When the Sid changed its volunteer policy it drove several long-time ushers away, but we are still out there and would be happy to return to caring for patrons for the price of admission, and many of the performing groups would love to be able to afford a venue to rehearse and perform in. It is also right across the road from the new development at St. Joseph’s, a potential source for future users.
The church is for sale, and it is long overdue that the town step up and make a contribution to the one area that it is so clearly absent in supporting.
Raymond C. Garford,