Over the past few years, it seems to Darren Coldwell that he and his fellow Parksville Qualicum Beach residents are often seeing each other over sad circumstances.
“We’ve just lost so many people over the last few years,” said Coldwell. That’s both the young and the old and all those in between, and due to various causes.
For him, it was his son, who would have been 10 years old on Aug. 11. “I lost him going on four years ago this Christmas,” he said.
Inspired to do something on his son’s birthday, and to try to bring the community together for a happier occasion, Coldwell decided to start Alive, which is now planned to be two days of rock music and other performances at the Coombs Rodeo Grounds on Aug. 11 and 12.
“We’re calling it a celebration of life for all of us that are actually still alive,” said Coldwell.
In organizing the event, the response has been amazing, he said.
“There’s more bands than there is time,” said Coldwell, adding that some people are already asking about a second Alive event next year.
The bands that are performing are mostly rock and roll groups from the Island.
Groups include the Dusty Hand Reggae Band, In Vain, Far and Fused, Buried in Lyme, For on the Floor, No Name Yet Band and others.
There are also other acts, including a local spoken-word performer and a comedian.
The event is aimed at adults and families in an effort to see the whole community come together for a two-day celebration. There will be bouncy castles, beer gardens, family seating and more.
All funds from the event will be going towards the Coombs Hilliers Recreation and Community Organization, which manages the Coombs Rodeo Grounds.
Coldwell said it was fitting to support the organization, as many of the local celebration of life events end up taking place there, and it’s been an important site for himself and others who’ve grown up going to Coombs Rodeo Grounds events.
Coldwell will be MCing the event, and said he’s excited to see people come together and have a good time.
The event runs from 3 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 11, and 1 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12.
Entry is by donation, though suggested minimum per day is $10, said Coldwell. To camp at the grounds, the cost is $15 per campsite.