Something that has become evident in collecting the memories of local residents is how important Jackson Park Bandshell was to the community. The Bandshell was originally built in 1950 but was destroyed by fire in 1957. In 1959, Windsor City Council approved the construction of a new Bandshell which was designed by Johnson and McWhinnie (now known as Archon Architect Incorporated) and built by Loaring Construction (also still in business in Windsor).
In it’s heyday, the Bandshell was used for the Emancipation Festival and saw many Motown acts early in their career like the Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas and the Isley Brothers . Under Walter Perry, the Windsor Emancipation Festival was a true world class event and dignitaries from all over the world would come to Windsor to take part in the celebration. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attended in 1956. Currently the Bandshell is being used for storage (as are many other structures in Windsor, a function that Council seems to use as a holding pattern until they propose demolition) which is a disservice to it’s importance in local history and the strong and honourable function it once served.
If you have memories of the Jackson Park Bandshell, send them to us. We’d love to share!