Vancouver Island Symphony members perform at Origin at Longwood on July 22. (Photo courtesy City of Nanaimo)

Vancouver Island Symphony members perform at Origin at Longwood on July 22. (Photo courtesy City of Nanaimo)

City of Nanaimo summer concert series comes to seniors’ residences

Small, invite-only concerts replace large performances of previous years

The City of Nanaimo is adapting its Summer Concerts in the Parks series to adhere to COVID-19 precautions.

On July 23, the city announced in a press release that rather then present public performances at the Bowen Park amphitheatre and Maffeo Sutton Park, this year’s concerts are invitation only and will take place in the outdoor parking lots of five local seniors’ residences. There are to be fewer than 50 people in attendance at each show.

“This summer, the concerts have been re-imagined to be delivered safely … with measures in place for physical distancing to keep everyone safe,” the release noted.

The first concert, held on July 22 at Origin at Longwood, featured members of the Vancouver Island Symphony. This August, roots artist Gerry Barnum will perform at Chartwell Malaspina Care Residence, TerraZetto will play Kiwanis Village and folk-pop singer-songwriter Trevor Price will entertain those at Nanaimo Seniors Village. The series will conclude with a performance by 2020 City of Nanaimo Honour in Culture Award recipients Geoff and Trish Horrocks. Dates and times are not being announced to in order to keep attendance down.

“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 Julie Bevan, city manager of culture and events, in the release. “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.”

The concerts are being filmed and highlights will be posted to the city’s website and Instagram and Facebook pages.

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