Cars, Music, Food, and a Good Cause
By Kris Ketonen

There are some high hopes for this summer’s Cruise Nights at the DaVinci.

The weekly event, which runs every Tuesday night at the DaVinci Centre, is, at its heart, a car show, with each Cruise Night bringing dozens of classic rides to the centre’s Waterloo Street parking lot.

DaVinci general manager Ann Marie Polowski says the event came about after a local car club approached the DaVinci about holding its car meets there. “We kind of created this function together in terms of bringing something to the centre that was free for the public,” Polowski says. “For the community to come out and just enjoy during the summer months.”

This is the third summer for Cruise Nights. And things are changing, Polowski says. Back when the event was created, the car club suggested the events be fundraisers for a very important cause: the Thunder Bay Regional Health Science Foundation’s Northern Cardiac Fund. “We agreed, obviously,” she says. “That’s a great cause, so we’ve been doing it ever since.”

Funds are raised through a 50/50 draw. And while the first two summers raised a total of about $6,000, organizers set a loftier goal this year. “Our goal this year was to raise $10,000,” Polowski says. To do that, they made the events bigger in an effort to draw in more people. Now, Cruise Nights include activities both inside and outside the DaVinci. Classic cars of all makes and models are still parked in the DaVinci’s parking lot every Tuesday night. But there are some new aspects this summer: food is on offer, and once a month, Cruise Nights include a concert, with local bands taking the stage outdoors, if weather permits (if it’s raining, the band will be moved inside, Polowski says).

“We’re getting lots of people coming out with their cars and their families,” she says. “We encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the event.”

Cruise Nights at the DaVinci run 6–9 pm every Tuesday through the summer, and wrap up in September. Admission is free.

For more information, find the DaVinci Centre on Facebook.