Sidney council exclaims ‘nay’ to Shakespeare in Beacon Park

Public parks bylaw in Sidney disallows ticketed events

A proposal by the Rotary Club of Sidney to run an open-air Shakespeare production at Beacon Park was turned down by the town at their Aug. 13 council meeting.

The Sidney Rotary Club had hoped to sell tickets to the production, which the actors had agreed to do gratis, as a fundraiser. But the town’s policies on holding ticketed events in the public park proved to be a stumbling block that couldn’t be negotiated in such a short amount of time.

“We still have the possibility of doing it next year,” said Steve Duck from the Tides Group, one of the event organizers. “Because of the summer meeting schedule, we only had two council meetings over the timeline of us coming up with the idea and when it would have happened, so it just wasn’t enough. And taking into account things like lighting, seating, sound and concession services, there is no way that we could have run the event [and made a profit] on just a donation basis.”

Duck said the possibility of holding the event in the future isn’t out of the question.

“I’m not upset about it, although it is disappointing, but I don’t think we’ve lost the opportunity,” Duck said. “I think the town knows the park policy is outdated and ambiguous and hopefully we can work together to come up with something that can work.”

The current use of public parks policy states that “no applicant shall sell or charge, or permit to be charged, an admission/entry fee for an event.” The policy also states that the public not be excluded from any event or activity in a public park.

“It is of the opinion of staff that to make any exception for the benefit of this event would therefore set a precedent that may not be overlooked by some members of the community, in particular those organizations and individuals that have, in the past, been denied private functions opportunities,” said the report to council from the manager of engineering and environmental services, Mike van der Linden.

The group that agreed to perform the Shakespeare production is Victoria’s Shakespeare by the Sea, the same group currently performing A Midsummer’s Night Dream in Holland Point Park on Dallas Road.

“We were excited about doing the production [in Sidney],” said Central Saanich resident and Victoria’s Shakespeare by the Sea actor, Jan Manchur. “The production we do at Holland Point Park is absolutely stunning being right on the water. With the mountains, the sea and the ships going by it’s a really magical setting. It would have been great to do the same in Sidney.”

Along with Manchur who plays Frances Flute, two other Peninsula actors are also members of the Midsummer’s Night Dream cast. Rosalind Coleman who plays Snout and James Johnson who plays Bottom are from Central Saanich. Both Coleman and Manchur have also both worked with the Peninsula Players.

Victoria’s Shakespeare by the Sea’s ***A Midsummer’s Night Dream runs Tuesdays through Sundays until Sept. 2 at Holland Point Park off Dallas Road. Shows start at 7 p.m. and tickets are available at or by calling 250-213-8088.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langford racing enthusiast back in driver’s seat of life after surviving aggressive cancer

70-year-old David Smith finishes mid-pack in Canada 200 race at Western Speedway

Central Saanich needs at least more than 500 additional daycare spaces

Report before Central Saanich says region faces a ‘chronic shortage’ of daycare spaces

New nurse practitioner-led medical clinic welcomes Victoria patients

Health Care on Yates expects to serve 6,800 new patients over the next three years

Opponent of proposed Sidney cannabis store calls on councillors to heed health authority advice

Council to consider revised application from Happy Buddha Cannabis on Sept. 28

MISSING: West Shore RCMP searching for 15-year-old last seen Sept. 13

Mackenzie Courchene still missing despite several tips, possible sightings, police say

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

POLL: Do you plan on allowing your children to go trick or treating this year?

This popular annual social time will look quite different this year due to COVID-19

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Comox Valley protesters send message over old-growth logging

Event in downtown Courtenay was part of wider event on Friday

Application deadline for fish harvester benefits program extended

Those financially impacted by the pandemic have until Oct. 5 to apply

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Most Read