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


Luke Bryan fans arrive early, prepared to stay late

They were there before noon and were prepared to wait long into the darkness for a chance to watch American country superstar Luke Bryan perform on the main stage at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival on July 8, the festival’s third day.
Photos by Jim Brown

Allison Parsons and her friend Amanda White, both from St Johns, NFLD., had been looking forward to their PEI trip to see Luke Bryan for six months. Their thoughts on the beach festival so far: “It’s awesome, best one yet,” they said.

It was the best kind of birthday gift 16-year-old Ashley Melanson, from Dieppe, NB., could ask for – a ticket to see her favorite performer on stage at one of the best music festivals anywhere. Joining her on her trip to the Cavendish Beach Music Festival to see Luke Bryan was her dad Luc Melanson, who also happens to be a big fan.


The sun’s out and the crowd’s rocking on Day 2 of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival

Photos by Jim Brown

The Cavendish Beach Music Festival grounds were splashed with sun on Saturday, July 7, at the start of the day’s entertainment, a stark contrast to one day earlier when lashing thundershowers delayed the festival’s opening acts for several hours.

EmiSunshine and her band led off the day’s entertainment (accompanying photos), followed by The East Pointers, Lindsay Ell, Terry Clark. Dallas Smith and a star-studded list of other entertainers, finishing with headliner Chris Young. EmiSunshine (Emily Sunshine Hamilton) is an East Tennessee classic country, folk and blues phenomenon, who at just 13 has already graced the cover of Country Music People. It was just the first act of the day, but the grounds were already jammed with fans of her music.


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.


Thousands turn out for Canada Day in North Rustico

Photos by Jim Brown

The parade was in town on Canada Day in North Rustico and thousands of people came out to see it. It was a wonderful morning to be out and enjoying Canada’s 150th birthday, with hot, sunny weather and a cooling breeze. Many parade-watchers arrived more than a hour earlier to grab the best viewing spots along the route. Even Star Wars characters showed up for the show. It was hard to imagine a better place to be on Prince Edward Island to mark Canada’s special day.

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First potato soap shipment on way to Taiwan, could grow to 100,000 bars

June 19, 2018 marked a first for PEI. The first shipment of 4,500 bars of Island Potato Soap is heading to Taiwan. The Leezen Group in Taiwan will be distributing Island Potato Soap to its 132 outlets. The soap, grown by Island farmers, is unique because it is made with certified organic potato juice.
If the soap catches on, the Taiwan market could eventually grow to over 100,000 bars of soap annually. This would be a great boost for rural employment here on PEI since all the employees of White Gable at Hope River live on the North Shore.


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!