The District of Sicamous is set to stake the stage.
District council has approved the purchase of a Stageline SL100 mobile stage for $147,992 (excluding GST).
The all-aluminum SL100 with hydraulic stage setup unfolds from what looks like a semi-trailer into a 20 by 24-foot covered staging unit complete with PA system.
The unit is being purchased with funds that had been in the budget for a pavilion at Beach Park. To offset the cost, the district has applied for $75,000 from the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s Electoral Area E Rural Sicamous/Malakwa’s Economic Opportunity Fund.
Sicamous Mayor Terry Rysz is excited about the purchase, noting the stage is something that was on the previous council’s radar. He said the municipality of Vanderhoof has a similar unit and is considered to be an asset in that community.
“Vanderhoof bought theirs and talking to their mayor, I know him very well, Gerry Thiessen – he says it’s the best thing they ever did,” said Rysz, emphasizing the stage’s versatility as a key selling point. “We can put it in the Beach Park, Finlayson, 200 Main Street, we can pull it inside of the arena, if Malakwa wants to have a function out there, we can just hook it on to a truck and send it out there… it’s just so versatile and they just absolutely love their portable stage.”
The district is also looking to purchase a mobile washroom facility, something significant step up from porta-potties, that can accompany the stage at community events.
“We’ve got about $80,000 left in the budget to buy a washroom facility, and I think we can buy a pretty damned good one for that, and we’re looking at one for about $50,000 right now,” said Rysz. “ It would be like walking into the washroom of a hotel. You know, there’s the regular toilets and the regular sinks, that’s kind of what we’re looking at.”
Rysz envisions the two mobile units being made available for a variety of community-orchestrated events, with the possibility of their being rented out as well. But he adds there is no policy in place yet for that.
“That would be something council is going to have to decide, whether we have some stringent sort of policy that makes this thing collect money,” said Rysz. “At the same time, I’m kind of steering away from that. I kind of want it to be used a lot. If it’s a function that’s going to benefit the community, we should have some sort of policy in place that’s going to make it really flexible. But it hasn’t been decided yet.”
As for the idea of a pavilion at Beach Park, Rysz says the stage purchase hasn’t pushed it entirely out of council’s purview.
“I think we had a couple hundred thousand dollars in the budget for a pavilion,” said Rysz. “If you wanted to do a pavilion, wanted to have washroom facilities and whatnot, I think we estimated somewhere around $300,000 to do something up right… So this is an alternative that could be even better… it’s more versatile. A pavilion is in one area. I’m not saying that one day we wouldn’t build a really nice pavilion on our Beach Park or something like that, that remains to be seen. But now that we’ve got this, we’ll see where that goes.”