VW van enthusiast Keinan Chapman poses beside his ride. The Civic Theatre is encouraging van-lovers to attend a tailgate party during the one-night documentary screening of The Bus on July 30.

Calling all VW vans

Civic hosting tailgate party during one-night documentary screening.

The Civic Theatre is hosting a Vernon Street tailgate party on July 30 for their one-night screening of The Bus, a documentary about VW vans.

“We’re going to pop up our roofs and park there. We’ll have kids running around, people cooking chili and it’d be nice to get 20, 30 vans out. We want to sell out the show,” said local VW bus enthusiast Keinan Chapman.

Organizers are hoping the audience will start to arrive around 5:30 p.m., two hours before the film begins, to have a communal cookout. They’ve asked for permission to use the parking lot at the old Extra Food building and plan to line up the vans in front of the theatre.

“You don’t need to RSVP,” said Chapman. “Just show up.”

Chapman campaigned to have the film brought to the Civic, a plan that was enthusiastically backed by fellow VW bus owner and theatre manager Jason Asbell.

“It’s a movie about the quirky people and the funny stories and the experience of owning a VW camper van,” said Chapman. “It’s a nice little film.”

The Bus tracks the VW van’s journey from its unlikely genesis as a post-Second World War utility vehicle all the way through to its current status as a cultural icon representing freedom and the open road.

The film, directed by Damon Ristau, begins in Germany with the vehicle’s creation, then follows the bus’ evolution through the years. Scenes are shot everywhere from Baja to Burning Man.

Chapman bought his van over a decade ago, and has done extensive upgrades and maintenance. He said he’s never been happier.

“It’s like a swiss army knife inside. You can store an enormous amount of stuff in it. It’s fuel efficient, fun to drive,” he said.

But the real benefit comes from being a member of a growing community of VW owners.

“Wherever you drive, other Westie drivers wave. There’s a camaraderie there. If you break down, they’ll stop for you. You do the same.”

Chapman said Nelson has an abundance of vans tucked away and hidden, and for this one night he’d like to see them all together downtown.

For more information visit civictheatre.ca.

(CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story misspelled Chapman’s first name.)

Just Posted

Slocan Valley added to communities on flooding evac alert

Kootenay Lake is expected to reach flooding level in Nelson by Friday

UPDATED: Hwy 3 west of Creston remains closed due to mudslide

A detour is available on the Kootenay Lake Ferry, but commuters could see wait times

COLUMN: Making a wildlife smart community

David White writes how property owners can avoid conflict with nature

Police searching for Nelson man

Brent Mickelson hasn’t been heard from since February

Local police recognized for work

Eight officers were honoured for removing impaired drivers

VIDEO: After the floods, comes the cleanup as Grand Forks rebuilds

Business owners in downtown wonder how long it will take for things to go back to normal

Couple survives being buried in mudslide on B.C. highway

The couple, from Saskatchewan, were en route to Nelson when a tree fell in their path

‘So grateful:’ Injured Bronco hockey player glad he’s alive, works on recovery

Ryan Straschnitzki was badly hurt in the accident: a spinal injury, broken ribs, a broken collar bone, and punctured lung

PHOTOS: Floodwaters rise and fall in Grand Forks

The flood-ravaged Kootenay-Boundary region begins to heal

Martin Mars waterbombers’ firefighting days are done

Wayne Coulson said his company still hopes to find a new home for the vintage aircraft

NHL playoffs weekly roundup

Vegas Golden Knights have done the impossible and have a chance at hoisting the Stanley Cup

Changes needed for ‘Alert Ready’ mass emergency system

‘You need to strike this careful balance between alerting people to lots of problems — and doing it too often’

Las Vegas Golden Knights move on to Stanley Cup final

Improbable run continues for NHL’s newest expansion team

Oregon’s flooded recreational pot market a cautionary tale to Canada

‘In a broader sense, we are adding legal production to an already robust illegal production’

Most Read