City of Nanaimo brings local music to seniors

Musicians from Vancouver Island Symphony perform at Origin at Longwood || PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF NANAIMO

Tyler Hay


The city of Nanaimo has partnered with local seniors residences to offer live music performances during the COVID-19 pandemic. The city said it understands the significant impact of the pandemic on both the elderly population and on local musicians, whose livelihoods have been impacted by venue closures and cancellations.

”We know that seniors have traditionally been a core audience for the City’s Concerts in the Park, and we thought it would be meaningful to take music to their doorsteps this year,” said Julie Bevan, manager of culture and events for the city of Nanaimo.

In a press release, the city said the intention of the series is to serve audiences where they are, to support local musicians and to create uplifting and memorable experiences.

In past years, the city has organized the popular Summer Concerts in the Parks series at the Bowen Park Amphitheatre and Maffeo Sutton Park, which attracts audiences of over 300 people. Performances will be offered to small audiences of less than 50 people and will be held outdoors in the parking lots of the five participating seniors residences this summer. Measures will be in place for physical distancing. 

The series of concerts kicked off on July 22 with a performance by musicians from Vancouver Island Symphony at Origin at Longwood. 

The August lineup includes renowned roots artist, Gerry Barnum, at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence, TerraZetto at Kiwanis Village and pop/folk singer-songwriter, Trevor Price, at Nanaimo Seniors Village. 

The last concert of the series features Geoff and Trish Horrocks from the Nanaimo Fiddle Society, who are the 2020 City of Nanaimo Honour in Culture award recipients. 

“Our team seized this as an opportunity to create new partnerships, to collaborate with organizations like the Vancouver Island Symphony and to support musicians by hiring them and by connecting them with audiences,” said Bevan.

Concerts are by invite-only for residents, but will be uploaded to the City of Nanaimo’s Facebook page and website. To view highlights of the summer concert series follow @culture_nanaimo on Instagram.

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