They threw a party and everyone came: Day 3, Cavendish Beach Music Festival

It was one of the largest crowds ever seen at the 10-year-old Cavendish Beach Music Festival (July 8) and many of them were there for American country superstar Luke Bryan. But long before he hit the stage tens of thousands of people assembled for an impressive lineup of talented acts including the James Barker Band, Granger Smith and Jon Pardi. And bright, sunny skies and balmy temperatures did their part in boosting spirits and attendance.

Jim Brown photos


Day 1, Cavendish Beach Music Festival: The Deluge

Story and photos by Jim Brown

Long columns of ticket holders assembled more than an hour before showtime at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival on the festival’s first day, July 6, only to be disappointed when the skies opened up and heavy rains threatened to wash everything away, accompanied by thunder and lightning. But many were in good spirits as they attempted to wait out the deluge. Dark clouds and rain were banished shortly after 2:30 pm, with the sun reappearing, along with warmer temperatures. Organizers were optimistic the day’s program, delayed since 12 noon, would be underway by around 3 pm.

Shae Dupuy

Canadian country music star Shae Dupuy sought shelter inside a large tent on the festival grounds, waiting for a break in the stormy weather.

Two members of the provincial under-15 women's basketball team

Two members of the provincial under-15 women’s basketball team attempt to slide into plastic raingear.


Stanley Bridge Centre hosts exciting new business venture, opening June 16

by Jim Brown

Pieter Ijsselstein has big plans for the Stanley Bridge Centre, which he has leased for the summer months and will be open for business on June 16.

The co-owner of White Gables at Hope River, Mr Ijsselstein recently returned from a taping of Dragon’s Den to pitch his potato soap themed products.

He says the new Stanley Bridge Centre-based retail sales outlet (bearing the iconic White Gables name) will offer Island landscape paintings, pottery, weavings, and, of course, his burgeoning lines of Island Potato Soap and Skin Cream made with Potato Juice and Island Oils.

He also plans to have two Island market days, which will feature products from several other vendors, on Wednesdays and Saturdays throughout July and August.

It’s an exciting time for Pieter and Geraldine who have seen their certified organic potato soap products, including skin creams, sold in 225 locations throughout the Maritimes. All told, they have created more than 40 varieties of potato soap (including beer soap) and more are under development including a sunscreen made with Potato Juice.

“A lot of people in the US are ordering online and there are retail outlets in Ontario, BC. Maine, even the Yukon,” says Pieter

Pieter also has an order of 4,500 bars of soap from the Leezen connection in Taiwan, which are to be shipped out before the end of June.

The shipment involves four varieties of soap – Certified Organic Coffee, Anne’s Baby Soap (unscented), Lavender essential oil and eucalyptus essential oil soaps.

Right now, Pieter is waiting to hear from Dragon’s Den’s producers when his segment will air in the upcoming new season. So until then, everything is under wraps.

But even without news from Dragon’s Den, his lines of potato soap and skin cream sales are creating a lot of interest.

He estimates he will produce anywhere from 40,000 to 50,000 bars of soap this year. Sales have doubled this year, he said.

Among his 40 varieties of certified organic soaps are such popular brands as Lucy Maud Sweet Pea Soap and Sea Kelp Soaps, as well as eight Lighthouse soaps featuring beautiful illustrations (by Geraldine, his wife) of lighthouses including PEI’s famed West Point Lighthouse and the Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse from Nova Scotia.

All the work is done at his home-business just around the corner in Hope River, though the bulk of his certified organic potato purchases come from various Island growers.
His soap-based skin creams are sold in 100 ml pump bottles, which are great for tourists who can easily take it in their carry-on luggage if they are flying.
We are all looking forward to another great summer at the Stanley Bridge Centre!


River Days Festival coming Aug 25

Three days of fun and excitement are about to start along the shores of the Stanley River in Stanley Bridge. The 15th Annual River Days Festival kicks off on Friday, Aug 25 and runs till Sunday, Aug 27.

Look for many beloved events and activities to return, including the boat parade and bridge lighting Saturday night, accompanied by fireworks and entertainment. Come down to the Stanley Bridge wharf as darkness descends and watch boats lit up like floating Christmas trees drift past the bridge.

River Days features a full lineup of outstanding events that includes live bands, the Stanley Bridge Centre’s Saturday farmer’s market, Mussels on the Wharf (Friday), bridge jumping (Sunday) and a barbecue hosted by the Trout River Environmental Committee (Sunday) . TREC is also hosting a “Find the Fishes” event on Saturday to help participants learn more about lives in the area’s rivers and bays.

Several dignitaries will officially open the festival on Friday at 5:30 pm at the Stanley Bridge Marina and Shops. Lots of cake, mussels and music will be on tap for the celebrations.

Carr’s Oyster Bar will be rocking during the festival and Sutherlands is hosting a special Sunday breakfast. The New London Community Complex will host a pancake breakfast (Sunday) and the Inn at the Pier has kayak rental specials and para sailing during the festival.

Other events include the Tommy Gallant Memorial Big Catch competition (and awards) on Saturday, a presentation led by Dr. Irene Novaczek discussing the environmental history of PEI called “Time and a Place” (Sunday at the WI) and a potato stamp art free workshop for kids and kids at heart, held at the newly opened Lupin stores at the wharf (Sunday). For more details visit or call 902-886-3355.

Photos from the 2016 River Days Festival

Story and photos by Jim Brown.
Jim Brown can be reached at


Kensington goes to the dogs

More than a 150 canines participated in the Lady Slipper Kennel Club’s weekend dog show (July 22-23) at the Kensington Community Gardens arena. There were large breeds and small breeds, hairy breeds and hairless ones – dogs of all shapes, colors and sizes. And they were all competing for brightly colored ribbons and bragging rights in their groups. Among the many breeds represented at the show were whippets, basset hounds, Rhodesian Ridgebacks, Great Danes, Samoyeds, Schnauzers, beagles, Finnish Spitz’s, Great Pyrenees, Irish wolfhounds, rottweillers, Alaskan Malamutes, Skye Terriers, Cairn Terriers, Pekingeses, Italian Greyhounds, Pugs, Toy Fox terriers, Papillons, Chinese Crested, Welsh terriers and Tibetan spaniels

Story and photos by Jim Brown.
Jim Brown can be reached at


North Rustico’s Canada Day parade.

North Rustico’s Canada Day parade route was jammed with spectators of all ages by the parade’s 10:30 am start time – a fitting tribute to Canada’s 150th birthday. Parking was also at a premium throughout much of the picturesque seaside community. The parade and other festivities were held under brooding skies, but the sun came out later in the day.

Jim Brown Photos..


Preparing for the Saturday, Oct 15 blueberry pancake breakfast

Volunteers with the Stanley Bridge Centre were busy Wednesday evening preparing the Stanley Bridge Women’s Institute Hall for the Saturday, Oct 15 blueberry breakfast fundraiser, featuring delicious blueberry pancakes, coffee and tea, juices, sausages and homemade muffins and cinnamon rolls. Tickets are only $10 at the door (five dollars for children). Doors open at 8 am and the breakfast runs to 11 am. dsc_0005 dsc_0009-1 dsc_0001-2

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