The project, which was first unveiled last year, is being spearheaded by the Shaunavon Perk Up Our Parks Committee.
Those involved with the initiative point to the many benefits the amphitheater would provide, including its ability to host a wide range of activities.
“It could be used for all kinds of events – weddings, socials, reunions, seniors gatherings, dance performances, outdoor concerts, church events and so on,” said Conrad Sandberg, who was instrumental (forgive the pun) in helping bring the idea of building an amphitheater style structure in Shaunavon. “Basically, it could be used for anyone who wants to have an outdoor event.”
Sandberg cited the amphitheater at Cypress Park as an example of the kind of activities the structure could host. The park’s amphitheater is the site of numerous events throughout the year, ranging from children’s plays to night-time programs.
Sandberg, a popular local musician and performer, says building the structure could also provide a cost savings in the future. Instead of renting a stage like the one needed for SaskExpress at last year’s Centennial celebration, for example, the new amphitheater would provide ample space for just about every production imaginable.
The community’s annual Sunday in the Park celebration – an event that includes a full day of family activities, community church service and stage performances – including music, dance and comedy – as another event that would benefit from a permanent structure.
A group of musicians gathering regularly on Sunday nights for weekly outdoor jam sessions (near the Frosty Treat location) could also renew their regular performances if they had a stage to use.
“I just think it’s something that is needed in Shaunavon and could be used by all kinds of groups and people,” said Sandberg.
Organizers say they have raised about $25,000 of the $75,000 that would be needed to finish the project.
With that in mind, the committee is organizing a major fundraiser this summer.
The group is planning an auction for Sunday, June 22 at the curling rink. Auctioneer Ralph Oberle will be conducting the auction.
The auction is being described as having a “Spring Cleaning” type theme. Organizers are looking for local businesses and residents to donate items to the effort, including tools, equipment and furniture, etc.
“Really, I think we would take just about anything that would hold some decent value,” said Kyle Bennett of Perk Up Our Parks, adding that clothing is one item that isn’t being accepted.
Organizers plan to use the curling rink for the entire weekend, providing donors with an opportunity to drop off their material on Friday night and providing buyers with a preview tour of the goods on Saturday.
Among the items already confirmed for the auction are casino-related trips, Sr. Badger season tickets and the use of a Bouncy Castle and Waterslide donated by Southwest Rentals.
“We’re hoping the auction is a success and we get that much closer to building (the amphitheater),” said Bennett.
Several businesses and individuals have also volunteered to provide in-kind donations and other assistance to the project. Anyone looking to help the effort – whether it is through a donation of goods, money or volunteer labour – would also be greatly appreciated.