One Highlands resident had a special hand in crafting the new community hall that will be unveiled in the community Saturday.
Bob McMinn may not have been quite aware of what he was volunteering for when he took on the task of building the stage, but the end result has many singing his praises, including the mayor.
“When I volunteered I’d thought it would be a much simpler design,” McMinn said. But even he admitted that, “when one first looks at it… It looks quite impressive.”
“I had it designed by a local architect and I had some help from a carpenter,” he said. Visual aesthetics aside, the stage was engineered for sound absorption and offers practicality with the ability to store the venue’s tables underneath it on dollies. “I guess I masterminded the whole thing.”
In fact, McMinn put roughly 350 hours into the construction of the stage, which even included milling some logs from the site so the lumber could be used. He said the sound quality is fantastic and the hall’s floor was made for dancing.
The grand opening of the new community hall, at 729 Finlayson Arm Rd., will be marked with celebrations for Highlanders commencing at noon on Saturday (Sept. 26) and wrapping up around 8 p.m.
Mayor Ken Williams said the afternoon will be like a “neighbour meet and greet.” He encourages members of the Highlands community to come join the festivities.
“We want the community to take ownership of the hall and be aware of it,” he said. “We just want to get people talking about it and (have it be) used.”
For those interested, more information on how to rent the space will be available at the open house, which runs from noon until 5 p.m. The theme is, “who we are and what we do” and will be illustrated in table displays inside the hall, with larger displays outside that celebrate the diversity of Highlanders and local community groups.
Topics include beekeeping, astronomy, rainwater harvesting, food preservation, emergency preparedness, perennial edibles, community gardens and many more. But don’t worry, if all of the excitement has your stomach rumbling, there will also be a food truck on site, with free lunch vouchers for the first 100 residents.
Rounding out the entertainment for the day will be an official ribbon cutting at 5 p.m., after which the hall will be transformed for a free concert with performances by local musicians between 6:30 and 8 p.m.
A task force made up of members of the Social Sustainability Committee and members of the Highlands District Community Association, with help from council members, organized the events for the day.
New East Fire Hall grand opening
This Saturday will be a busy day for Highlanders. There is not one, but two grand openings being unveiled, both packed full of events for the day.
The first big event is the unveiling of the new East Fire Hall, hosted by Highlands firefighters. This runs from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 3613 Woodridge Pl., with a ribbon cutting at noon.
Mayor Ken Williams encourages everyone on the West Shore to come and see the new hall, which has been responding to calls since the early summer, but has been undergoing a few cosmetic touches since. Now that the furniture is in, everyone is invited to come take a look.
Times to note:
- East Fire Hall Grand Opening: 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
- Ribbon cutting ceremony: Noon
- Community Hall Grand Opening: Noon to 8 p.m.
- Ribbon cutting ceremony: 5 p.m.
- Concert: 6:30 to 8 p.m.