Jackson Park Bandshell

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!



6 thoughts on “Jackson Park Bandshell”

  1. “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. attended in 1956.” Would anyone’s family have old footage of that? Was he there to give a speech or was he in the crowd as a spectator? I recall a beautiful day in the summer attending a music event with musicians playing horns on a bandstand at Jackson Park. Since I was so young, I can’t remember what it was. But the song ‘Saturday, In the Park’ by Chicago will forever remind me of it.

    1. That would be awesome to see footage! In my research to find a picture to go with that post, I only found one picture of Dr. King reading a magazine that looks like a picture of St. Mary’s in Walkerville is on the back but I could be wrong about that.

    2. Hello Marlene, not sure what year you would have attended the Bandshell event at Jackson Park, our band GALLEON played there in the early 1970’s, and we were an 8 man horn band, playing many Chicago tunes, including the tune ‘Saturday in the Park’. Also, I would be very interested in seeing if there is any Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. footage available.

      1. Irene Moore Davis of the Essex County Black Historical Research Society is the local Emancipation Festival expert. I know she has pictures of Dr. King’s visit and, I think, it would have been an event covered by television news at the time – both Detroit and Windsor. I anyone knows where to find footage, it would be Irene.

  2. I’ve road my bike through there 200 times in last 40yrs I had no idea that was even there…definitely needs to be fixed up for entertaining and veterans day..I know we have a water front music stage but neither are being used enough it’s boring here….get some fun action back here..park or river both good to have for different crowds arts music magic acts something y not

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

en_USEnglish (United States)