Would it be better to host Music on the Barge on Saturday nights in the summer rather than Sundays?
Grant Tingey suggested to Gravenhurst council, during its Sept. 19 meeting, that holding the concerts a day earlier would benefit the town.
The free concert series, which will begin its 52nd season in July 2024, has traditionally been offered on Sunday nights in the summer at Gull Lake Rotary Park.
Tingey said he believes the town is underutilizing a “gem of Gravenhurst.”
He told council his job allows him to speak to cottagers often who have told him they want to see the concerts, but can’t because Sundays are when they drive back home. “As much as I love something that’s tilted towards the locals, it’s not serving the vast majority of people that are in Muskoka in the summer,” said Tingey.
A potential move to Saturday could, according to Tingey, be a boon for many downtown businesses that would benefit from seeing cottagers venture into town to shop and eat. “That’s a lot more income for businesses,” he said.
Mayor Heidi Lorenz said council will take the idea into consideration and speak with staff about the possibility of moving days.
She pointed out that one of the suggestions in the town’s Parks, Trails, and Recreation Master Plan is to expand the use of the barge. That recommendation has already partly been acted on with TimberBeast Productions performing a handful of plays on the structure on Mondays this past summer. “There are other opportunities to expand,” continued Lorenz.
She also mentioned the work the Rotary Club of Gravenhurst is doing by fundraising to install amphitheatre-style seating on the hill facing the barge “We’re really excited to see that,” she said.