After seven years of fundraising, Paradise Hill will finally see construction of its new community centre start this summer.
“It’s awesome just to know that we’re going to be able to finally see a structure that will get built and be standing there,” said Neil Macnab, Paradise Hill Community Centre board member in charge of fundraising. “If we start in June, hopefully we’ll see it opening and running sometime late in 2016. It’s a very exciting time for us.”
To date the board has raised 2.7 million, with its landmark fundraising event being its annual Summer Bash. Board members are working with the Rural Municipality of Frenchman Butte to secure the remaining funding for the project.
The community centre will cover 19,000 square feet and be connected to Paradise Hill School by a corridor to allow for easy access for students. The board’s architect put out a call for business tenders on April 7, and will be reviewing applications on May 7.
Although shovels will soon be in the ground, this is not the end of the Paradise Hill Summer Bash. Macnab has seen the event grow from a smaller affair into a major celebration, and he predicts that it will continue to be an important fundraiser for the town.
“A number of years ago when we first started, all it was was we had a dinner and one entertainer,” he said. “It’s evolved to what we have today. It’s got a slo-pitch ball tournament, which starts Friday night, and this year we’ve got the cabaret on Friday night and mechanical bull and we added a catered meal and pancake breakfast. And now the chamber of commerce is doing the trade show, so it’s getting to be more than just a one-evening event. Now we start on Friday and we go all the way through until Sunday.”
This year’s headline act will be Nashville-based group Diamond Rio, which has had five singles reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts and has won four Country Music Association Awards.
“We are very fortunate and thrilled to have entertainers of this level coming to a community of our size,” Macnab said in a press release. “We expect a capacity crowd of over 1200 people.”
Macnab said over 1,000 people attended Summer Bash last year and took in the other functions that were being held in conjunction with the event.
“Previously, Paradise Hill didn’t really have a large event in town that Paradise Hill could be known for,” he said. “It’s a weekend we (can) call our weekend and it’s great for us as a community and great for us as a committee to see that this has grown into what it is today.”
The Paradise Hill Summer Bash will take place from Aug. 7 to 9. Tickets are $65 and can be purchased at Paradise Hill Farm Supply or by telephone at 306-344-3432 starting on June 8.