Ken Lavigne and the Naden Swing band will perform at Memorial Park for a free concert as part of Esquimalts Arts Festival.IMage contributed

High-calibre offerings helping Esquimalt arts scene to evolve

Exciting concerts, arts events this summer sure to attract new visitors

Tim Collins/Victoria News

When Morlene Tomlinson first heard Ken Lavigne perform, she was determined to bring him to Esquimalt for a concert that would form part of the community’s arts festival.

As much as one might not have expected an internationally known tenor who once graced the stage of Carnegie Hall to perform in a free concert in the heart of the township, it’s a perception Tomlinson feels is changing.

“Our aim from the beginning was to showcase this community as the rich and diverse place that it is,” said Tomlinson, the founder and past president of the Township Community Arts Council.

“We’ve managed to do that to a large extent, and we’ll continue to build on our successes to create a reputation where people look to Esquimalt as a place to come for arts and culture.”

That said, the arts council doesn’t want to lose sight of its traditional connections within the community.

“Our relationship with CFB Esquimalt has always been very close and productive,” she said, noting that the first band to play at an arts council event was the Naden Band.

That relationship continues this summer during the Esquimalt Arts Festival, when the Pacific Blue Swing Orchestra opens for Lavigne in the June 23 performance at Memorial Park.

The park is hosting a series of six concerts this summer, with local recording artist Maureen Washington (June 20) among the featured performers. Tomlinson maintained the concerts are only part of what is setting her community apart.

On June 24, an art exhibit will feature original works by more than 25 local artists. “It’s a chance to demonstrate the depth of talent we have in our artistic community,” she said.

The exhibits will also feature a “Splash of Paint with Emily Carr,” as well as interactive art displays, music and food. Esquimalt residents take great pride in the township’s diverse and talented population, its level of volunteerism and its appreciation of all manner of arts and culture.

“There’s an unfair image of the community at times, but I believe we’re overcoming that more and more,” Tomlinson said. 
“You might not have expected to see Macbeth performed here, but we’ve partnered with the Greater Victoria Shakespeare Festival to bring three performances to Esquimalt. We’ve got aerial dancers who will entertain from the tree tops and we have (talented artisans) in our markets.”

Holly Courtright, Esquimalt’s community development programmer, is similarly high on the change of perception regarding her community.

“We have a small-town feel and we’ve always had a lot of great things going on, but recently I can feel a shift,” she said. “The wide variety of attractions has combined to draw people and development to our community. Things are changing.”

For more information on the arts festival, visit townshiparts.org/esquimalt-arts-festival.html

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria non-profit empowers women escaping abusive homes with a fresh start

Organization’s gift certificate program helped around 400 women last year

VIDEO: Royal Bay Secondary students take flight in ‘Peter and the Starcatcher’

Play tells the story of the orphan who becomes Peter Pan

WATCH: Oak Bay wins regional skating competition

Winning tradition continues leading up to provincials

Sidney designer showing killer collection at Van Fashion Week

A young Sidney designer is showing her 14 piece collection Obsidian Nights at Vancouver Fashion Week

Volunteers begin work on memorial garden for former Metchosin counsellor

Garden a fitting tribute to Moralea Milne, a champion of Garry oak ecosystems

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

POLL: Will you be wearing pink to take a stand against bullying?

Schools and workplaces across Greater Victoria and around the province will be… Continue reading

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

People gather for funeral of seven children killed in fast-moving Halifax fire

Traditional portion of the service will be followed by words from community members

Most Read