Culture Summerside plans three events for 2014 celebrations

Colin MacLean
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SUMMERSIDE — Who says history has to be boring?

Certainly not the folks at the Culture Summerside.

The Summerside area culture and history group announced Tuesday it’s bringing three attractions to the city this summer as part of the 2014 sesquicentennial celebrations.

Two are walking tours of the city, and the other is the Chautauqua cultural festival that had previously been announced as part of the Summerside Lobster Festival lineup.

They’re calling the three events Imagine 1864: Summerside Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.

Lori Ellis, manager of heritage and cultural properties for the city, said the city was fortunate to receive support from P.E.I. 2014 Inc. and various community partners to help put on these events, and it’s sure to be a fun summer season for everyone.

“We’re happy to have a project that can incorporate so many community members and community groups,” said Ellis.

One of those partners is La Belle-Alliance, which is dedicated to preserving and growing Acadian culture in the Summerside area. It is a co-presenter of the Chautauqua.

Guy LaBonte, one of that group’s board members, invited all residents and visitors to get out and experience this unique event, which will include aspects of

Acadian culture.

“There’s a lot of Acadian names, a lot of Acadian music. It’s in their soul, music and the Acadians, “he said.

Ellis seconded that invitation.

“I think people should definitely come out and experience the Chautauqua. It’s the first time it’s been here in 85 years, the lineup is superb and very diverse. I just think it’s an opportunity people won’t want to miss.”

For that event, taking place between July 14 and July 18, the city will be closing down Water Street between Spring and Summer streets and putting up a huge main tent and several smaller ones to accommodate performers. A schedule of musicians, craftspeople and performers will rotate through the various stages 12 hours a day.

A complete list of performers and show times can be found online at

The other two events announced Tuesday have been dubbed Laying the Keel and Shoreline Seafood Safari.

The safari will be comprised of a three-hour walking tour along the city’s waterfront with stops along the way to discuss local history and to sample a variety of Island seafood. These tours will start soon and continue all summer.

Laying the Keel consists of a number of interpretive panels that will be installed in the downtown core to explain the history of local business people.

Organizations: Today and Tomorrow.Lori Ellis, La Belle-Alliance

Geographic location: Summerside, Water Street

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