POA approves new amphitheater

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The Canyon Lake POA Board of Directors unanimously approved a proposal from the Canyon Lake Fine Arts Guild to build a new amphitheater for the community at Holiday Harbor Park. The proposal included a $25,000 donation from the Fine Arts Guild to go toward the cost of the venue. The amphitheater will be built on the hillside overlooking the lake. Every Canyon Laker who enjoys music and the outdoors should benefit from this stunning new amenity.

At the direction of the POA Board of Directors, especially directors Dale Welty and Paul Queen, drawings were created by POA General Manager Eric Kazakoff and Steve Schneider of the POA Operations Department.

At the Mar. 6 Regular Session Board Meeting, the board approved $68,822 plus five percent contingency from the Capital Improvement fund for the new six-level venue. The cost includes step lights, a conduit for stage lights and sound, irrigation and drainage. The Fine Arts Guild’s donation will help to reduce this planned expenditure by $25,000.

The new amphitheater will serve as a venue for many events in the community including the POA’s six movie nights and the Fine Arts Guild’s free concerts. It’s also likely this new venue could become a POA billable venue for events such as weddings, receptions and other gala events.

Last summer, the Fine Arts Guild sponsored “Hot August Night” at Holiday Harbor Park in conjunction with the Jr. Woman’s Club and Family Matters Club. The event included a free concert for the community featuring “Fleetwood Mac” tribute band “Little Lies.” It was estimated that 1,000 people were in attendance.

Based on the success of that event, the Fine Arts Guild is sponsoring another free concert for the community this summer. “Margaritaville by the Lake,” featuring a Jimmy Buffet tribute band, will be held on Saturday, July 21, at the new amphitheater.

The new amphitheater will be the second one built at Holiday Harbor Park. Many decades ago, the park was home to the Village Store. Developers built a 300-seat amphitheater near the store to hold special events.

According to Elinor Martin, Canyon Lake historian and author of “Images of America Canyon Lake,” the amphitheater only held one performance and it was by Mimi’s School of Starts, a Norco dance group.

The amphitheater was later removed and the area became part of what is know known as the beach area at Holiday Harbor Park.

Many years later, long-time resident Dorothy Cable noticed the slope between the snack bar facility and shoreline could be a perfect outdoor venue. As members of the Fine Arts Guild Board of Directors, she and husband Ken scripted their idea and proposed it to the Fine Arts Guild and the POA.

Later, Art Zasio created conceptual drawings that included a large domed stage, changing rooms and fixed stadium seats that could facilitate events for the Fine Arts Guild as well as the Canyon Lake Community Theater group. Over the last two years, The Fine Arts Guild dusted off the prior proposals, revisited the design and made it more functional, affordable and scalable.

Fine Arts Guild President Ron Martel, who has led the project for the past two years, worked primarily with his wife Leigh, Ken Cable, Travis Montgomery, Steve Libring of the Facilities Review Committee and Daryl Ballou, who spent hours developing the new conceptual drawings, the Fine Arts Guild created a more viable proposition.

The Fine Arts Guild Board of Directors, consisting of Dee Zasio, Sue Bonner, Bert Barbay, Orlando Lopez, Bonnie Dubbs, Corrie Tutt, Larry Garland and Ron Martel, showed the commitment to this project and good faith by including the significant donation, which is the Fine Arts Guild’s way of giving back to the community.

“We in the Fine Arts Guild are thrilled and honored to help provide this new facility to the community,” said Ron. This is consistent with our mission to promote quality live music in our ‘Little Bit of Paradise.’”

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Donna Ritchie