The stage in Williams Lake, which serves as the inpiration of the design the Centennial Park stage will have. Allan Roberts photo.

Stage to be built in Centennial Park

‘Nobody has said no to me, which is incredible’

They say it takes a community to raise a child but it also takes a community to build a stage.

“We think this a story about 100 Mile and what I mean by that is all the people I’ve spoken to, nobody has said no to me, which is incredible,” said Allan Roberts, who set the whole thing in motion and co-chair of the project.

He first thought of the addition of the stage was when he was at a fundraiser in Williams Lake. There was a stage there and had non-stop bands for the duration of the event, so Roberts took a photo of the stage and decided it was just what Centennial Park needed.

He called Sitka Log Homes and enlisted the help of Walter Bramsleven and Brad Johnson to help build the stage that would reflect the character and culture of the South Cariboo.

“It’s been needed for many, many years. It’s going to increase our cultural visibility,” said Bramsleven. “We’ve got an open area, whether it’s [for] performing or display artists or other events [that] can be hosted at an outdoor venue to little or no charge and to just create a more cultural atmosphere and get more usage for the park.”

The first thing they had to do was get the blessing from the district in November 2017. Council, according to Roberts, was very positive and gave permission for the stage to go up in Centennial Park. The council is not contributing any money to the building of the stage either and costs are being covered by several community members.

“This whole project is being built by various people I have spoken to in the community and I’m very proud of all of them,” said Roberts.

The logs used for the stage came from Roberts’ property and his wife, April Roberts, has documented the whole process so far from the lens of a photograph. She has photographed the logs being felled, stripped and notched and will also be there when the cement is poured to create the stage’s foundation.

The plan is to create a blog online in the near future.

“So this is going to be a really good, very strong story about who we are as a community,” said Roberts. “It’s a very cool thing.”

The stage will be 20 by 30 feet and very similar to the stage in Williams Lake it is based on except for some additional features. The stage will have wheelchair access and electricity for pot lights. It will also be larger and higher.

It will likely be located in the same corner as the hydro sub-station.

They are hoping to start pouring the concrete on May 14 and hope for it to be completed on June 1 or the first week of June.

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