More Life in the City on Monday Nights By Michael Sobota

Thunder Bay’s Waverley Park is the second oldest municipal park in Ontario.

Last year The Coalition for Waverley Park successfully held the grand opening for a new pavilion in the park. It was the culmination of six years’ worth of effort. The pavilion was intended to bring new life into the park, anchoring a variety of possible events. Over that summer, it became a drop-in place for amateur musicians to practice (the pavilion has electrical outlets and an ample roof providing both shade and protection from inclement weather). Local school cheerleaders were on scene practicing on the pavilion’s broad front steps. It was a background for numerous wedding and graduation pictures. Both the park and the pavilion have stairs and ramped access, as well as sidewalk street level entry, making it fully accessible.

Perhaps most significantly, the new pavilion became a home for a concert series in the park. The coalition worked together with the City of Thunder Bay, the local Musicians’ Association and local musicians to launch the first Pavilion Concert Series. Last summer it ran for eight weeks in July and August. Held on Monday evening, the series turned out to be a popular success, pulling upwards of 300  people into the park for each concert.

For 2019, the coalition has decided to slightly expand the concert series, working in collaboration with both the Musicians’ Association Local 591 and artists/poets connected with Definitely Superior Art Gallery. The concerts themselves have been expanded by a half hour and now will run from 6:30 to 9 pm every Monday night from July 15 through August 19. The intention remains to add more life to and bring more people into the park. All the musicians in the concert series are local and professional members of the musicians’ association.

New musical bands and acts will appear together with returning artists from last summer. These include Rage and Ruin, Bruce Hansen, Rodney Brown and Friends, Quest, the Martin Blanchet Jazz Quintet, and Sara-Kim Moran.

There are picnic tables scattered throughout the park, but you may wish to bring your own folding chairs, and a water bottle. Concerts start at 6:30 pm.

See you in the park.