Twilight concerts begin June 1

The Envision Twilight Concert Series returns June 1 kicking off its 21st year at Fraser River Heritage Park. The summer series of by-donation concerts runs Wednesdays and Fridays from 7 to 8 p.m. until the final show Sept. 2.

The heartbeat of drums will reverberate through the park as Chilliwack’s Pandora Steel Drum Band opens the series.

The band was has been a performing part of the Chilliwack secondary music program since 2001. It was a pet project of principal Dale Halcrow (retired) and it was started by percussion virtuoso Craig Scott. The band is now under the leadership of music teacher Gary Raddysh.

Students perform at a very high level but are also encouraged to have fun making music. The steel drums or pans are instruments unlike most tuned percussion, and their sound is truly festive. Pandora Steel Band is one of only two student steel bands in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland.

The group performs about 50 times per school year. Community groups and service clubs invite the band for parties and fundraising events. They often perform for surrounding communities at carnivals and festivals.

The band has a repertoire of very traditional Calypso music. They mix it up a bit by playing some of their own arrangements of favourite pop and folk songs.

The Art in the Park program continues with a variety of visual artists presenting their work each evening of Twilight. June 1 features Gina Esche’s “natural way to body wellness;” the Aboriginal art of Nancy Arcand; children’s book author Kim Oshiro with ABC in Harmony; and Donna Duvall, acrylic painter on canvas and found treasures.

The Blackberry Kitchen is open under new management with Chef Kerry Martin and partner Laurel Exner of Kela Cuisine serving tapas and dinner entrees after 4 p.m.

The Log Cabin Café, run by the Optimist Club, offers a full-service concession with burgers, hot dogs, pop, nachos, and ice cream.

John Vissers and David Westley return to share host duties for the concerts.

Bring a lawn chair or blanket and come to the park. Admission is free but donations are appreciated and encouraged. Your support along with the contributions of sponsors will ensure this series continues.