8th Annual Banks Schoolhouse concert brings smiles to many faces
Loch Band member and BS Concert soundman Mark Poirier of Inverness
-by John Gillis
Banks Schoolhouse in Inverness wrapped up another successful season with its August 6th and 7th concerts. This was the 8th annual music festival for BS.
While the free concerts have grown in popularity over the years, organizer Michael Nikas notes that it may now be time for more community, business, and corporate sponsorship.
Nikas shared his philosophy behind the concerts with The Oran this week.
“The premise of the BS Music Festival presentation is to create a multi-media variety with entertaining and memorable content throughout while keeping the show tight and without any gaps while musicians set up ... my feature videos are created throughout the year and many are on the spot comical interviews to help introduce feature acts.
“I have high respect for talented musicians – it goes back to my eldest son Ryan being a professional drummer and watching and supporting his music career blossom from a very young age. It also goes back to giving my professional photography services free of charge to the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra for over 20 years.
“I saw an opportunity to swap my photo/video services with that of musical performances and eventually, developing the Banks Schoolhouse “BS” brand with the growing success of our music festivals. I produce many music videos and have created some locally for free in appreciation of local musical talent. Together with my wife, Winnie, whose family roots stem from here in Inverness, we plan to make Inverness our permanent home so, doing things in a most proper manner is important,” said Nikas.
The BS Music Festival attracts many new visitors to town and many schedule their vacations around the first week of August when the BS Festival is held.
“We have a close association with Mark Poirier – a well-respected family member of the Inverness community with many musicians in his own household. Mark has become a very close friend and has invested heavily in audio equipment that is available to musicians who perform at the BS Festivals,” said Nikas.
Nikas said they’ve managed to create and host these festivals at the Banks Road with some financial support from community business like the Sean Co-op and Central (before becoming Kent) but our out-of-pocket personal cost to host each year’s festival is approx $3,000 and a whole lot of time away from the beach. I would need a minimum injection of $5,000 to go mainly towards our musicians, our professional sound system (owned and operated by Mark Poirier), proper security, insurance, washrooms, etc. The time is here to ask for corporate support and private donations,” said Nikas.