The Fling’s the thing

Annual outdoor event is always a welcome summer treat

The Philly Fling is a popular event in Sooke.

Pack a picnic, gather the kids, and enjoy an afternoon of music at Ed Macgregor Park.

The 10th annual Philharmonic Fling takes place SUNDAY, July 15, and promises fun for the whole family.

The free event, put on by the Sooke Philharmonic Society, also kicks off celebrations of the orchestra’s 15th anniversary.

“We hope to have a few fun surprises,” said Pat Phillips, society president.

The event features conductor Christopher Taber, music director Norman Nelson, soloists and special guests, such as the Sooke Pipes and Drums.

“It’s just a great afternoon event of great music,” Phillips said. “It’s a great event for the little children – they love to get up and dance to the music.”

The event is becoming more Sooke-oriented, with a variety of local performers joining in on the festivities, according to Nelson, who is also founder of the orchestra.

This year’s line-up showcases a variety of entertainment, including a First Nations welcome ceremony, a demonstration by the Sooke Taoist Tai Chi Society, and African drummers.

Students from Journey middle school’s string band will also perform Saturday.

“It’s very, very youth-oriented,” Nelson said of the Fling.

The eight-member string band, which started last September, is lead by instructor Anne McDougall.

“It’s pretty exciting for these kids (to be playing at the Fling),” McDougall said.

“(People can expect) to hear some young string players who play with enthusiasm.”

Continuing with a tradition which began a few years ago, a surprise guest conductor will guide the orchestra during a tune.

People were able to place bids on the coveted spot at the Secret Garden Tour held at the beginning of June.

Previous year’s auction winners include Coun. Brenda Parkinson and David Lintern, past society president.

Event-goers are welcome to bring a picnic lunch, blankets, or lawn chairs. Gates open at 1 p.m., with the concert starting at 2:30 p.m.

Food will also be available for purchase, with proceeds going to the Sooke Transition House Society.

While the event is free, donations will be accepted. There will also be a 50-50 draw.

The Fling is, however, just one of the events celebrating the orchestra’s anniversary.

“It really marks the beginning of our 15th year as the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra,” Phillips said.

The society plans to incorporate a festive theme to each of their events in the upcoming year.

“Everytime we have a concert, there’ll be something added that will affirm the 15 years (of the orchestra)… whether it’s just a little history being given out or whatever,” Phillips said. “It’s going to culminate in the Fling ending the 15th year (next July), with cake and, hopefully, more surprises.”

For more information about the Sooke Philharmonic Orchestra, see sookephil.ca, or call 250-642-2849.