Nanaimo Deadheads celebrate late music icon

Movie about The Grateful Dead screens in Nanaimo on anniversary of Jerry Garcia's death

Aug. 9 marks what may become an annual event in Nanaimo: a twilight screening of the Grateful Dead movie in honour of the late Jerry Garcia.

Deadheads should know that date marks the 17th anniversary of the passing of the band’s legendary frontman. Garcia died from a heart attack in 1995 at the age of 53.

The Radio Malaspina Society and Gabriel’s Café honours the life of the American singer with an outdoor movie at the bottom of the China Steps.

Originally released in 1977 and directed by  Garcia, The Grateful Dead Movie is a film that captures performances from the Grateful Dead’s October 1974 five-night stand at the Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco.

Over the course of 30 years, the Grateful Dead played more than 2,300 concerts and were inducted into the  Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.

MC Mitiswell, a volunteer programmer on CHLY, had the idea to honour Garcia. For months now, Grateful Dead fans enjoyed Three Packs a Day, the two-hour Monday morning radio show devoted to playing the music of the Grateful Dead.

Recognizing that Deadheads are a unique group of people whose love for the music never dies, Mitiswell decided to honour Garcia by sharing the movie with the Nanaimo community.

There is no charge to attend, however, donations to the Radio Malaspina Society are appreciated.

People are welcome to gather at the bottom of the China Steps with a lawnchair or a blanket at 6:30 p.m., with the film beginning at dusk.

For more information, please e-mail programdirector@chly.ca or call 250-716-3410.