Bandshell volunteers at work. SUPPLIED

Now all that’s needed is provincial permission to party

While there won’t be music in the air around the Fonthill Bandshell this season, organizers are singing the praises of volunteers, sponsors and community just the same, thanks to the near-completion of the work involved in the volunteer Bandshell Committee’s Jazz Up The Park project.

Anyone who has visited or driven past Peace Park in recent weeks will likely have seen one of the last pieces of work involved in upgrading the Bandshell area: installing new light bollards in and around the structure, thanks to the crew from BZ Electric, and Bandshell volunteers.

While the sod-laying took place last November, just before the early snow began to fly, the irrigation system has now been tested, the resulting grass is lush and green, and the benches have been installed along the accessible pathway at the top of the bowl. In fact, the Fonthill Lions recently donated a bench, which will be installed over the summer. All donors from across the community, corporate and individual, will be honoured for their contributions with the installation of a donor wall during the summer months. To see the length and depth and breadth of the $75,000 fundraising and installation campaign, see the information on the group’s home page at fonthillbandshell.com.

“Our team of volunteers has been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community, and the great partnership with the Town of Pelham,” said Gayle Baltjes-Bazinet, Chair of the Bandshell Committee. “We would love to be able to see everyone in person to express our gratitude, but that party will just have to wait.”

Meanwhile, Bandshell fans can tune into the committee’s online presence for a little taste of what could have been, and what will be, once restrictions related to COVID-19 are lifted. Many of the bands originally scheduled to perform in person have provided links to their own recorded music, or they have volunteered their time for a mini-concert, through Facebook live or the Fonthill Bandshell’s other social media accounts. Music-lovers are invited to tune into the website—fonthillbandshell.com, or Facebook (Fonthill Bandshell Concerts group page), or Twitter (@FontBandshell), or Instagram (@fonthillbandshell) to learn more.