Marylene Saumier Demers

Marylene Saumier Demers

Esquimalt concert series brings music to the park

Memorial Park Music Fest's first concert will highlight Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific

It’ll be music to the ears.

Esquimalt kicks off the Memorial Park Music Fest featuring Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific and celebrating St-Jean-Baptiste Day with the Victoria Francophone Society.

The six-week park concert series – a first for Esquimalt – launches June 24.

“This is a kickoff to what we hope will be an environment to draw people to downtown Esquimalt, and enjoy music in the park,” said Morlene Tomlinson, president of the Township Community Arts Council.

“It’s a unique event for Esquimalt. We hope this will be an annual event.”

The fit in with the Naden Band and the francophone association is a natural to launch the music festival, said Tomlinson.

“(The arts council) is committed to promoting arts and culture in Esquimalt to help change the external view of the community. People who live in Esquimalt know it’s a fabulous place to live all ready.”

St-Jean-Baptiste Day is a big celebration throughout the French world, including Quebec. The day marks the feast of St. John, a Jewish preacher who baptized Jesus in the River Jordan.

The francophone association has hosted several St-Jean-Baptiste Day celebration over the years, but this is a first for Esquimalt, said cultural co-ordinator Marylene Saumier Demers.

The activities begin at 3:30 with family entertainment. French music will begin on one of two stages from 4 to 5:30 p.m. and return from 8 to 9 p.m.

Naden Band takes centre stage from 6 to 7: 30 p.m. and will feature “lively, upbeat and high temp music,” said Lt. (N) Matthew Clark, commanding officer of Naden Band of Maritime Forces Pacific.

Other Memorial Park Music Festival over the summer include:

• July 1 – Rig a Jig

• July 8 – Capital City Syncopators

• July 15 – Alive ‘n’ Kickin’ with Cynthia Davis

• July 22 – Virtual Elvis

• July 29 – Bijoux du Bayou

The concerts run from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

klaird@blackpress.ca