Heavy turnout at River Days farmers market

Story and photos by Jim Brown

The Stanley Bridge Centre’s parking lot was jammed for much of the morning and afternoon, during the SBC’s first, and only, farmer’s market of the season.
More than 15 vendors were on hand for the farmer’s market, which offered crafts, baked goods, artworks and fresh produce from the fields surrounding Stanley Bridge. The Stanley Bridge Centre was unable to offer farmers markets during much of the summer because of extensive renovations to the building, which included new washrooms, a new accessible entrance and a new, fully equipped kitchen.
The SBC farmer’s market was a featured event in the 17th annual River Days Festival.

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Stanley Bridge Centre connecting to CBC

Looking to stay on top of local, national and international stories? Then you’ve come to the right spot.
In addition to our coverage of events in the Stanley Bridge area and our twenty news feeds from major international publications, we are also offering CBC Prince Edward Island stories every day. We would welcome any feedback from our readers.
Have any comments on stories you’ve seen on the Stanley Bridge Centre’s website or have suggestions or submissions? Send your email to peijim@hotmail.com.



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Seventeenth Annual River Days opens at Stanley Bridge Centre

Photos by Jim Brown

On Friday, Aug 23 dozens of people visited the newly renovated Stanley Bridge Centre to participate in opening ceremonies for the 17th Annual River Days Festival (Aug 23-25).

There were plenty of delicious finger foods on hand, ice cream and a large cake featuring this year’s pirate theme. Among the attending dignitaries were Malpeque Liberal MP Wayne Easter, Rustico-Emerald PC MLA and Education Minister Brad Trivers, Alfred Fyfe and Trout River Road author, educator and former MLA Marion Murphy.
Talented musical performer Stewart MacFarlane provided the evening’s entertainment.

Stanley Bridge Centre volunteers were busy early the next morning preparing the building for the season’s first, and only, farmer’s market, featuring more than a dozen vendors.

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Music festival goes off without a hitch, though tourist operator reports lineup turned off several potential guests

Story and photos by Jim Brown

A public meeting soliciting feedback on the July 5-7 Cavendish Beach Music Festival drew a sparse crowd, with just 12 people dropping by the North Rustico Lions Club, including Island Senator and Cavendish resident Mike Duffy.

Six officials faced a sparse audience at a public meeting seeking feedback from the 2019 Cavendish Beach Music Festival.

Perhaps that was because there was little to talk about. Complaints about the three day country music extravaganza were even scarcer than the number of attendees.

The July 29 meeting, chaired by Linda Lowther, Deputy Mayor of the Resort Municipality of Cavendish, ran just shy of 26 minutes.

Facing the 12 attendees were six officials, including an RCMP officer, Resort Municipality CAO Brenda MacDonald, a representative of the PEI Liquor Control Board and a Cavendish Beach Music Festival spokesperson.

Though there were was little damage caused to the community by rampaging country music fans feeling their oats, that doesn’t mean some in the resort municipality didn’t face the prospect of economic loss.

As many as 50 performers were showcased at the July 5-7 Cavendish Beach Music Festival.

For instance, the owner of a cottage business who reported several guests who booked accommodations for last year’s festival decided not to go this year after learning the lineup, featuring top acts Carrie Underwood and Eric Church, was less than stellar.

“My guests said the shows were okay but the lineup wasn’t as good as they expected,” wrote the owner in a letter to the resort municipality, one of three submitted.

“They said they’d rather pay more money – up to $50 more for a three day ticket – and really enjoy the lineup.”

They didn’t want to spend all that money “to come to Cavendish and pay for accommodations and travel to get a mediocre lineup.”

The cottage business owner went on to say the paying guests of seven of the 11 cottages in 2018 had signed up for 2019, but once they learned this year’s lineup in November, they cancelled, asking instead to be put on the list for 2020.

“They said the lineup wasn’t worth coming for. They also said Canadian artists are not that good in most cases and that the festival people need to bring in better Canadian artists.”

But the business operator was impressed with this year’s crop of CBMF guests, saying they were very well behaved, “I had the best bunch ever.”

Jeff Squires, CEO of Whitecap Entertainment, the company that produces the CBMF, had a different take.

“I would suggest music is subjective. The festival will continue to showcase Canadian talent and all that it brings to the table,” he said.

Mr Squires said Atlantic Canadian and PEI musicians “will continue to be provided with more opportunities to learn and grow and develop their craft at the highest level…that is our mandate and something we are very proud of.”

Other attendees raised concerns about power outages around the time of the festival that led to inconveniences for guests, such as toilets not flushing at a campground.

One four hour outage ran for the festival’s first day, though it was not directly tied to the festival.

Senator Mike Duffy who has followed the 11 year history of the festival, told officials: “I’d say it’s the best year yet…the residents certainly appreciate it down our way.”

Others said instances of intoxication and other bad behavior associated with earlier years was way down.

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