When Neil Cutler realized that some of his co-workers weren’t able to partake in all the festivities that come around Halloween time, he took action.
“I noticed that some of the people I worked with didn’t have the opportunity to go to a nightclub and be with friends,” Culter told the News Bulletin.
A decade ago, Cutler decided to create a family oriented Halloween dance, known as the Nanaimo Community Halloween Video Dance, which allows people of all walks of life to party in a safe environment.
“It began with people with disabilities, both cognitive and physical. It just kept getting bigger and bigger and they started bringing their families around,” Culter said.
On Saturday (Oct. 25) St. Paul’s Anglican Church will be transformed into a makeshift nightclub as the Nanaimo Community Halloween Video Dance celebrates its 10th anniversary.
“This dance is essentially a community video dance that is open and is a safe environment,” Cutler said.
The Nanaimo Community Halloween Video Dance will feature high-tech lighting, music video screens, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks.
The event is intended to be family oriented, with no drugs or alcohol.
“We really want it to be accessible to anyone,” he said. “If they can’t make it out to a nightclub, they can come here and this is a nightclub environment.”
Cutler never imagined that he would still be organizing community dances a decade after the first Nanaimo Community Halloween Video Dance.
“I realized there was a niche for that,” he said. “Just a place where anyone could enjoy the same night out that adults could do all the time.”
Over the past decade, Cutler has received plenty of community support and seen friendships and even romantic relationships form at his dances.
“To this day there are a couple relationships that are still happening that happened right at the dance,” he said. “I continue to get the joy each and every dance.”
Nanaimo Community Halloween Video Dance takes place at St. Paul’s Anglican Church, 100 Chapel St., on Saturday at 6 p.m. Admission is free with a suggested donation of $2 or canned food.
For more information please call 250-714-5024.