New West Kelowna amphitheatre fit for a king

Elvis tribute artist will help open the next concert venue in West Kelowna's Memorial Park

Concept drawing of the amphitheatre in West Kelowna's Memorial Park.

Forget about the mayor, West Kelowna’s new amphitheatre in Memorial Park will have The King on hand to open it this evening—well a reasonable facsimile there of.

Elvis Presley tribute artist Adam Fitzpatrick will help christen the new amphitheatre and stage with his show tonight at 8 p.m. as part of West Kelowna’s Friday Music In The Park program.

Adam as ElvisPrior to Fitzpatrick taking the stage, Mayor Doug Findlater and group of spacial guests will officially open the amphitheatre, following two opening acts —emerging artist Kelli Keagan and the band Dark Horse.

Presley—nicknamed the King of Rock and Roll during his career—has spawned an industry of impersonators and tribute artists since his untimely death in 1977.

The Memorial Park amphitheatre, which has been under construction for a few months, cost the city $380,000 and is located on the 30 per cent slope below the Johnson-Bentley Memorial Aquatic Centre in Westbank.

It will serve as the centrepiece for the city’s annual Westside Daze summer festival.

Tonight’s Music in The Park event will start at 6:40 p.m. with Keagan, to be followed by Dark Horse at 7 p.m. Before Fitzpatrick launches into his Elvis tribute show at 8 p.m., the brief opening ceremony will take place.

Free, family friendly Music in the Park concerts will take place every Friday night from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. this summer through to Aug. 19 at the amphitheatre.

Music lovers will be presented with a variety of musical genres, including country, pop, folk and more, says the city.

West Kelowna Recreation staff will be on hand hosting games and activities for the kids and a food and beverage vendor will be operating during the concerts.

The following day—Sat. July 16—Findlater will be back in the park to open the city’s new skatepark, also part of the overall $813,000 redevelopment of Memorial Park. The redevelopment includes the amphitheatre.

The cost of skatepark, the result of hundreds of West Kelowna youths and supporters signing a Facebook petition last year, is included in the overall park cost.

The federal government contributed $315,000 of the total as part of its program to fund infrastructure in communities across Canada as part of the celebration marking the country’s 150th anniversary in 2017.

The new skatepark replaces its aging and deteriorating predecessor, which was in the same location.