Six years in, Music in the Park series is stronger than ever

Every Tuesday night from 6-8 p.m. a different band plays in a public space during the Sunfest Music in the Park series, co-presented by the Saanich Legacy Foundation, the District of Saanich and participating community associations.

What started as one evening of live marimba music in Rutledge Park has expanded into a summer-long musical celebration now in its sixth year in Saanich.

Every Tuesday night from 6-8 p.m. a different band plays in a public space during the Sunfest Music in the Park series, co-presented by the Saanich Legacy Foundation, the District of Saanich and participating community associations.

“When we first got together our intention was total joy and everything came together with that in mind,” said Margaret Bachmann, chair of the organizing committee for the Rutledge Park shows.

This week, the series returned to the park, which has undergone a transformation since the first concert. Last year, between 700 and 1,200 spectators attended each event in the park, on the corner of Cloverdale Avenue and Inverness Road.

“It was a complete dive and somewhat dangerous and now it’s this beautiful spot that people come and are drawn to,” said Karen Dearborn, past president of the Quadra/Cedar Hill Community Association and organizer with the Rutledge Park series since the get-go.

“There’s a whole mix of people who come together to enjoy the day,” Dearborn added, pointing to the mix of housing in the neighbourhood that includes seniors’ condominiums, co-op housing, apartments and basement suites in single family homes.

The series relies on the cooperation of Saanich Parks and Recreation, Community Services and businesses, as well as the initiative of community associations. Rutledge’s committee of 20 volunteers meets year-round.

Rutledge isn’t the only park seeing enthusiastic crowds.

The July 26 show at Beckwith Park, featuring rock cover group Voyager, was the first show of the series in the North Quadra area.

Lee Richmond, special events assistant for Saanich was one of the volunteers on site at Beckwith to ensure the event’s success.

“The splash park closed just in time for Music in the Park, creating that family buzz,” Richmond said.

Each venue has its own vibe, he added, from the families with young children attracted to the water park at Beckwith, to the slightly older crowd that kicked off the series July 5 with CanUs at Goward House.

Music in the Park has also been staged at Majestic and Brydon Parks. The admission-free event includes face-painting, crafts and displays unique to each park. Next up: Rutledge Park hosts Black Angus and Rukus (Aug. 9 and 16, respectively). The series closes on Aug. 23 with Terry Brennan in Rudd Park.

Visitors are encouraged to bring chairs or blankets.

“I always love all of the music,” Bachmann said. “It’s not that one is better than another. It’s all unique and beautiful. It’s great – when there’s the pressures of society – that we have these things for our soul.”

Just Posted

Gwen Spencer Hethey with her uncle and mentor Major Frederick Richardson. (Courtesy of Greater Victoria Sports Hall of Fame)
‘She was a killer’: The Victoria woman who pioneered female sharpshooting

Gwen Spencer Hethey made military men ‘look like turkeys’ says her son

Anita Troop officially turns 100 on Sunday and cards are pouring in from around the world. (Courtesy Marina Miller)
Cards roll in from around the world for West Shore 100 year old

About 100 cards have come for the woman who turns 100 on Sunday

A cardboard man bearing Queen Elizabeth II’s royal cipher has been placed in a window at the Royal Theatre for at least several days. (Evert Lindquist/News Staff)
Mysterious cardboard figure appears in Victoria’s Royal Theatre window

The identity of the figure, which was moved there amid cleaning, remains unknown

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Jesse Roper tackles weeds in his garden to kick off the 2021 season of What’s In My Garden Man? (YouTube/Whats In My Garden)
VIDEO: Metchosin singer-songwriter Jesse Roper invites gardeners into his plot

What’s In My Garden, Man? kicks off with the poop on compost

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Rita Coolidge played the main stage at Vancouver Island Musicfest in 2017. (Black Press file photo)
This year’s Vancouver Island MusicFest to virtually showcase beauty of Comox Valley

Returning July 9 through 11 with more than 25 hours of music performances

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

Freighters have becomd abundant in the Trincomali Channel on the east side of Thetis Island.
Nanaimo ponders taking on waste from nearby anchored freighters

Vancouver-based Tymac petitioning the Regional District of Nanaimo to accept waste at its landfill

Most Read