Symphony by the Sea ~ Music for All

A Guest Blog by: Deidre Tansey for Festival Seekers

The sun is sitting low, blocked by scattered clouds, and Maffeo Sutton Park is slowly beginning to fill.  People from every part of Nanaimo and beyond are headed towards the charming park pavilion. Young families carrying coolers filled with snacks, couples holding hands, and seniors with lawn chairs, knowingly armed with golf umbrellas and warm clothes.


The setting is casual, buoyant and incredibly scenic, not the expected scene for a symphony orchestra, but that is the draw! Every year for over a decade, music lovers have gathered in the park for an exuberant outdoor show. Calvin Dyck, the concertmaster for the Vancouver Island Symphony, invites the entire audience into the experience from start to finish. His enthusiasm and humour take the idea of ‘symphony’ to an entirely new level of entertainment. A lady sitting next to me shared that she’s been coming for years now. “A friend dragged me one year, I told her I didn’t want to go because I don’t really like classical music. This show changed all that for me! I love how they make music come alive!” – See more at:


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