The 18-piece Georgia Strait Big Band

The 18-piece Georgia Strait Big Band

Hardy on dance card

PORT HARDY — The North Island Concert Society has pulled out all the stops for its Valentine's weekend show, offering dance with your romance.

PORT HARDY — The North Island Concert Society has pulled out all the stops for its Valentine’s weekend show, offering dance with your romance.

The 18-piece Georgia Strait Big Band, featuring vocalist Sue Medley, headlines an evening of jazz, swing and latin in the society’s annual dinner show Saturday at the Civic Centre.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m., with dinner catered by Malone’s Oceanside Bistro served at 6 p.m. and the big band taking the stage beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The concert society has used its dinner show to present a variety of acts, from musical groups to comedy to a performance a few years ago by The Amazing Kreskin. This time, they’ll add something new in the form of a dance floor, for audience members compelled to swing, jive, foxtrot or rumba to the Georgia Strait Big Band’s offerings.

The group, under the direction of Nanaimo musician and composer Greg Bush, is based in the Comox Valley, which has a 60-year tradition of big-band performances locally. The current band was formed four years ago with a mix of accomplished musicians from the area, and will be among the largest groups ever placed on stage by NICS in its 12 years of putting on local shows.

The big band boasts brass with trumpets and trombones, includes an array of saxophones, and a full rhythm section with drums, guitar and bass.

The group specializes in classic jazz, swing and latin numbers designed to get the audience up and moving, but will mix things up by going mellow with a variety of ballads and jazz standards.

Tickets are $45, including dinner. Seating will be limited due to table space, and no ticket sales will be available at the door.

To check for ticket availability, visit The Hobby Nook, Port Hardy Museum or Cafe Guido in Port Hardy, The Flower Shoppe in Port McNeill, or in Port Alice call Gail Neely at 250-284-3927. General ticket info is available by calling Kathleen Davidson at 250-949-7676.