The Element Club Bar and Grill in Castlegar will take on a bit of a different look on Saturday, June 9. The dance floor will be replaced by a four foot skate ramp for Bro Hymn 2 No Rulz and several local and professional skaters will perform all night while world class DJ’s spin the tunes.
The event came about as a way to honour the memory of Josh Evin and raise money for Josh’s company Sk8 Shoes 4 Kids.
“Josh was very eccentric,” said Florio Vassilakakis, owner of Element. “He used to come out all the time and party in Castlegar. Him, my Dad, and me used to always talk about building an indoor skate ramp. It was more of a joking thing – ‘Hey, let’s build a half-pipe in here and have him come and skate on it.’ Every time Josh came into town he used to ask, ‘When are we going to build a skate ramp?'”
It wasn’t until two years after Josh’s death that Florio was able to make their dream of an indoor ramp in Castlegar a reality.
“This last year I finally said to Justin (Josh’s brother) – ‘let’s make this happen’,” said Vassilakakis. “I got into contact with Ty (Smith of Sk8 Shoes 4 Kids) and he’s been great. He’s make the logistical end of it happen.”
Smith says he worked with local skateboarder and fellow Sk8 Shoes 4 Kids volunteer Trevor Frame in building a four foot skate ramp that would then be moved in pieces onto the Element dance floor.
“Florio’s father has build the dance floor up. That’s where the ramp is going to be installed,” said Smith. “Friday we’re going to get the ramp set up and have it tested to make sure it’s sturdy for the local and pro skaters who will be coming in for the event.”
The local skaters will be Ben Demoskoff, Trevor Frame, Dennis R, Eugene Voykin, Tyler Morris, Cole Nowicki, Ryan Quibell, Nato Goers, Justin Moroz, Nate Heddle, and Acquilla Clarke.
The pro skaters are part of the Kitsch Skateboard team from Vancouver and include Geoff Dermer, Make Hastie, and Cory Wilson.
“It’s a mixture of locals and high end professionals from the coast who are coming up to celebrate,” said Smith. “This is also one of the main fundraisers for Sk8 Shoes 4 Kids. So all the door proceeds go back to the society, which then goes back to Castlegar and Kootenay youth to put shoes on their feet so they can potentially participate in skateboarding. All the money’s going back to youth.”
Frame, who is one of the top young skateboarders in the Kootenays, is looking forward to hitting the indoor skate ramp.
“I’ve never actually skated a ramp inside,” he said. “I helped set it up a ramp inside the Lion’s Head Pub about a year ago and it was awesome. There was a good turnout and good times. I think Josh has actually skated a ramp before in Nelson at the Royal. It’s awesome to see it happen – I’m really stoked on it.”
Tickets are available in advance at HTR in Castlegar, Ripping Giraffe in Nelson, Ross Vegas in Rossland, and at the Element and at the door. The show will start at 10 p.m. and go right until 3 p.m.
“I think it’ll be an interesting night,” said Vassilakakis. “Just to see a skateboard in the middle of a night club is something else.”