By Allison Aurand

The power of volunteers. All photos by Bruce Stobbe

A few years ago Guild member Bruce Stobbe, of McLeod Creek Timber Frame Company, undertook a very special project for the town of Bon Accord, Alberta. With a little help from some friends and town employees, Bruce built the Aurora Amphitheatre, an open-air structure at Centennial Park, right in the center of town.

McLeod Creek Timber Frame is a one-man shop, so Bruce did the entire project himself, including site work—all in just six weeks! Other members of the Timber Framers Guild played a role too: materials were sourced through Fraserwood Industries, engineering was done by Fire Tower Engineered Timber, and the stain came from Sansin.

The project footprint is 20′ deep by 30′ wide, with Douglas fir frame material and locally sourced oak spins and pegs. The stage is all locally-sourced PT materials, and the entire project is topped with a sheet metal roof. To help raise the frame and put on roof decking, Bruce enlisted the help of two Bon Accord employees and a good friend (who, Bruce reports, is also a “furniture maker extraordinaire”). The stage construction was completed by some “very enthusiastic seniors”: his father-in-law and two friends, all retired from the construction trades.

This was a volunteer build, Bruce’s own personal community building project! The Aurora Amphitheatre will serve as a hub of activity for Bon Accord, with Music in the Park during the summer months, the Canada Day Pancake Breakfast, holiday lights in December, and the Dark Skies Festival, celebrating the Town of Bon Accord as the first Canadian International Dark Sky Community.

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