By Colleen Hannigan
There were a lot of proud mothers at the Barriere Bandshell on opening day! Performers of all ages took to the stage while exhibitors ringed the oval to celebrate the opening of the new community facility and to wish everyone a happy Mother’s Day.
The District of Barriere would like to thank the many volunteers, performers and exhibitors who spent unknown hours getting ready and then more hours on site Sunday putting on the show. Very special thanks go out to Bill Fowler, who volunteered not only his time and expertise but all his sound equipment for the performances. Charlie Kibble’s constant help setting up and fine tuning each act’s special needs and then sticking around until everything was torn down, packed away and delivered safely back to Bill’s house also can’t go unmentioned.
Beverly Murphy, our stage manager/mother hen pulled everyone together after weeks of rehearsing with our younger performers and the Thompson Valley Players. Like a dog with a bone she never gave up on anyone who showed an interest in being part of the celebration.
Lynn and Harley Wright, what a team! Lynn organized all the exhibitors around the oval while Harley stepped up to the mic as our MC for the official ceremonies. Behind the scenes announcers Bob Armstrong and June Webb provided the audience with tidbits about each performance and about the exhibitors around the oval. Kate Zahir and Lynn Roste took time to come from Kamloops to direct the young string players and singers.
After the dignitaries were drummed onto the stage by the Simpcw Drum Group, Greg Eustache performed a smudge and elder Mona Jules gave a blessing. Three eagles soared high above, which I understand is a good sign for the opening as well. The official welcomes by Acting Chief Fred Fortier, Mayor Mike Fennell and Minister for the Environment and local MLA, Dr. Terry Lake were followed by Councillor Glen Stanley, Chair of the Bandshell Committee, and Councillor Virginia Smith who recognized and thanked all the sponsors and volunteers. Katelyne Bonin, a candidate of the BC Ambassador Program, spoke about the program and introduced the NTFFRA Queen Pageant Royalty (Alex Brown, Jessica Graves, Seanna Lyons, and Little Princess Hope Moore) and this year’s candidates (Tianna Weninger, Hannah Allen, Cassandra Brown, Tiffina Preston, Christina Hostetter and Bethany McInnes) who will be back at the Bandshell for more festivities on Canada Day.
It was a bit of a rush to get the bandshell ready in time for the opening but Council stepped up to the challenge, with Virginia shining up the new washrooms and putting together the flower arrangements, Mayor Mike installing the toilet holders and raking out the entrances, Glen staking the parking, cutting the grass and putting up parking signs while Ward raked and shoveled his way around the oval.
Shawn and Ryan Fadear from Gabian Wall Systems provided the labour and materials for the accessible ramps leading up to the stage and Gary Forsythe from Sundown Construction provided his expertise and labour to cap the ramps. Shawn and Wally Welz of Tri Services let us use half their shop space for over a month so we could stain all the required tongue and groove for the ceiling. They also chipped in extra machine time and materials. Barriere Irly provided the best deals on materials to help with this project.
Performers were: Mickey Kinloch, Paul Fessler, Karina Pelayo, Noel Pelayo, Benjamin Tarlit, Chester Faliao, Brian Enriquez, Kurl Enriquez, Breanna Hobson, Millie Whitehead, Christina Hostetter, Jenessa Jaillet, Cam Kerslake, Kate Zahir and the Barriere Elementary School Strings (Pamela Lefevre, Brooke Hartman, Katie McInnes, Kamryn Cousins, Meghan Booth, Taylynn Eustache, Emma Hamblin, Samatha Jones, Rebecca Quiding, Brittany Waite, Dryden Howe, Seanna Armstrong), Tracey Corraini, Chrystal Star, Thompsom Valley Players (Dane Hawkins, Dryden Howe, Vanessa Balatti, Audrey Kibble, Seanna Armstrong, Geri Lee Genier and Vanessa Balatti, Jordan Bauer, Ali Dunn), the Rainbow School of Dance and the DNA Dance Academy, Cathy Bozanich, Simpcw Drummers (Acting Chief Fred Fortier, Councillors Tina Donald and Shelly Loring, Elder Mona Jules, Joe Jules, Mike Loring, Gerald Loring, Michael Loring, Taylynn Eustache, Kiera Eustache, Shirley Eustache, Alison Eustache, Charli Fortier, Justin Prairie Chicken, Angel Cameron, Samuel Cameron, Kenny Cameron, Jared Fortier, Adelle Cameron, Amada Celesta, Roberta Haller, Cecelia Thomas-Jules and Marissa Eustache), Experimental (Manuel Eustache, Jordan Celesta-Froste, Lydia Sampson, Cole Monk), The Kin (Callum May, Patrick McNiece, Earl Celesta, Kyle Gardener), John Strachan and Debbie Dane, and Brian and Colleen Hannigan.
The Exhibitors that provided the additional entertainment around the oval were: Clara the Clown (Sylvia Chivers), Grace Baker (Balloons), Tracy Corraini (Illusions in Glass), Donna Kibble for the NTVIC (Carnival type games) and the North Thompson Fall Fair and Rodeo Association (Zucchini/sweet potato races) and NTFFRA Queen Pageant participants (numerous activities), Tri-Services (Sandbox with dinky toys), Insight Tire and Sweetnams (Inflatable Rat Race Obstacle Course), Yvonne’s Flowers (50 flowers for moms), Barrie the Bear, Barriere Fire Department Fire Truck/Recruitment, Interiors Savings Credit Union, Property Guys and Marble Cove Children’s (clothes & face painting), Country Store Antiques (Maypole), North Thompson Arts Council (painting for kids), Breast Cancer Survivors (colouring daffodils, face painting) Angler’s Gift & Tackle (fly rod demo), North Thompson Recreation Society, RCMP, Bob Stirling Art, (stickers), Chinook Cove, and BodiMekanix (Portable massage chair). Noelyn’s Cuisine, Grandma Alice, the High School Travel Club and Geordie Salle provided food concessions.
Thank you also to everyone who came out to join in the celebration and to the Star/Journal for supporting the event and taking such great pictures!
The Barriere Bandshell is now officially open for business. So, book your event soon. Just call the District of Barriere office at 250-672-9751.