The numbers are in on the TD White Rock Concerts For The Pier series for 2019 – and White Rock BIA executive director Alex Nixon couldn’t be happier.
“The total attendance for the series was around 24,000 – which is up 26 per cent from last year,” he told Peace Arch News last week, just following the final show of the free six-concert series, an evening with legendary Canadian band The Crash Test Dummies and home-town favourites Fionn, at Totem Park on East Beach, Aug. 15.
“We had 7,000 people on the last night which is almost 50 per cent more than the highest ever to this point – Eagle Eyes and The Fab Fourever (on July 18 this year at Totem Park), which had 5,000, breaking our previous record with Abracadabra last year (4,500).”
Nixon said he believes this is due not only to the concerts – presented by the BIA in partnership with the City of White Rock – but also to a cumulative awareness that is beginning to reap rewards for the series, first started in 2015.
Originally TD Concerts at the Pier, it was re-named Concerts for the Pier this year, both acknowledging its part in encouraging donations for repairs to the storm-damaged landmark and the development of three distinct venues for the concerts – Totem Park, the newly-revamped Memorial Park and Five Corners.
“The concert series is such a fun event – and it’s become an iconic White Rock event,” Nixon said. “People are rediscovering White Rock – and we’re thrilled to be presenting this with the city and our sponsors.
“Having it at three venues gets to show off all of White Rock and support the businesses. Memorial Park is working well for concerts, Totem Park has become the place for the larger-drawing acts and Five Corners is the perfect location for a block-party type event. All of the performers did an amazing job and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”
This year’s concerts also featured Prism with Stonebolt Revisited on July 4 at Memorial Park, presented by Edward Jones Investment Advisors of White Rock-South Surrey; Kalimba on July 13 at Five Corners, presented by Oceana PARC; Eagle Eyes and The Fab Fourever, presented by Re/Max Colonial Pacific Realty; Jim Byrnes with Babe Gurr at Memorial Park, July 25 and Dr. Strangelove with Duelling Pianos, Aug. 8 at Five Corners.
Title sponsors were TD Canada Trust, with other sponsors including 107.7 Pulse FM, Landmark Premiere Properties and media sponsor the Peace Arch News.
Nixon said a large measure of the artistic success of the series was due to Rob Warwick of Rock.It Boy and Kelly Breaks of Blue Frog Studios, who oversaw artist selection and booking.
“Rob and Kelly do an amazing job of managing the stage locations and going out and finding the artists, and Rob Ford does a fantastic job of doing the sound and lighting for each venue,” said Nixon, who also paid tribute to the expertise in staging outdoor events of city recreation and culture director Eric Stepura and cultural development manager Elizabeth Keurvorst.