Musical artists such as Melissa Hill

Musical artists such as Melissa Hill

ACTIVE LIFE: Concerts make city’s parks more musical

NANAIMO – City of Nanaimo's Summer Concerts in the Park series will see afternoon performances.

Hoping to tap into the lunchtime crowd, the City of Nanaimo’s Summer Concerts in the Park series will see afternoon performances this season.

Daytime concerts run Tuesdays from July 15 to Aug. 26 at Maffeo Sutton Park from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. The evening series begins Wednesday (July 9) with concerts running at the amphitheatre at Bowen Park until July 30. The venue will then switch to Maffeo Sutton, with concerts running from Aug. 6-27. Performances will run between 6 and 7:30 p.m. at both locations.

Deborah Beck, city recreation coordinator, said the desire to bring energy and activity to Maffeo Sutton Park and increasing interest from artists are just some of the reasons for the extra concerts.

“We have some other concerts that go on with the [Downtown Nanaimo Business Improvement Association] up at the China Steps during one of the days of the week and we thought we would just create that energy throughout the whole week, so we thought we’d bring that in on a Tuesday. We have so many people that want to be a part of our concerts in the park that we thought, why not expand?

“We have lots of people that come to it. It’s a great place to come and enjoy your lunch time. We’re hoping we can invite the tourists as well as the public that live here and work here, to come down and enjoy lunch and the concerts,” Beck said.

She explained there will be a variety of musical genres, with rock, hip hop, orchestra and prairie folk amongst some of the styles.

The Melissa Hill Trio will play the lunchtime concert finale on Aug. 26. Hill said she enjoys the configuration at Maffeo Sutton and is looking forward to performing.

“It’s definitely always exciting and different when you play outside because you have different sound issues and you have passersby, so you’re not playing to a specific audience,” Hill said, adding she plans to cover a wide range of music at her performance, including reggae.

Regardless of whether people attend evening or noon concerts, Beck said it’s ideal for a picnic and recommends people bring lawn chairs.

“It’s a fun event to do with the family, the whole family, and we hope to see people down there,” Beck said.

For Summer Concerts in the Park listings and more information, please visit