Greener, busier days ahead for ‘The Hall’

Andrew Wagstaff
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Parrsboro band Association unveils strategic plan at AGM

PARRSBORO – A lot can be said for the patient approach.
The Parrsboro Band Hall has made great strides in recent years through a gradual improvement process, with each year bringing its select projects to make the historic venue more efficient, more accessible, and more active through increased programming.
That careful strategic planning approach has paid dividends for the organization, according to association president Lori Lynch, who said plenty more is in store for the years ahead.

Parrsboro Band Association president Lori Lynch is excited about the association’s five-year strategic plan for the community’s band hall, which she said will continue to see upgrades and improvements in the years ahead.

“When we held our strategic planning session this year, we realized there were no little things left to do,” said Lynch. “We all felt we were at sort of a crossroads. We all put up our wish lists for year one, three and five, and some of the projects are of quite a scale.”

For example, one of the largest obstacles to making the building more energy efficient right now is its windows, which are old and in need of replacement. That process began this year, but will continue over the next several years, with the goal to replace 2-3 windows per year.

“One of the things about our board is that we are patient,” she said. “We realize things can happen in little steps.”

That approach has been successful in making the hall more accessible to those with wheelchairs and mobility issues. In the past five years, a proper wheelchair ramp has been installed, while new washrooms have been added to the ground level of the building, replacing the “rotting front steps” that had previously been put in place.

The association is now looking at improving hearing accessibility, with a fundraising campaign ongoing to purchase equipment to help those with hearing impairments enjoy the many performances and activities hosted at the hall.

More long-term goals include plans to hire a full-time administrative employee, and increased programming activity such as the creation of an off-season music festival.

Programming activities have steadily increased in recent years at the hall in recent years, which saw 277 uses in 2013, about 40 more than the previous year. Events such as concerts, movies and open mic nights have become popular at the hall, and programming continues to be a high priority for Lynch.

“A lot of our goals are physical goals, having to do with the facility, but we also want to make sure we have enough energy and time put into developing programs,” she said. “Some of our strategic goals for the long term are to get more involved with the school, which Rob (Bentley, Parrsboro Citizens Band director) has already made steps with, and we’re looking at things like a theatre troupe and an art guild. The hall could be a place for all those things.”

Twitter: @ADNandrew

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