SUMMERSIDE - Fans of the Summerside Storm are being asked to support renaming Islander Day as Storm Day.
A few years ago, the Province designated the third Monday in February as Islander Day; a provincial holiday aimed at celebrating time with family.
Duncan Shaw, co-owner of the Summerside Storm, has now suggested that the day's name be changed to "Storm Day" with Island-wide activities capped off by a professional basketball game hosted by the Storm at Credit Union Place.
"It's just kind of a fun twist," Shaw said. "All of us as kids were looking forward to a storm day to get a day off school and go play outside. Everybody loves a storm day. It's just a fun twist on a mid-winter holiday. Now we can schedule that fun storm day we all looked forward to as kids."
The team has a game that day and Shaw credited Bill Schurman, a consultant with the team, with securing that date for the Storm's schedule.
"He was very focused on getting that day, that game so we could families out and have a lot of fun," Shaw said. "That's really the focus of the New Year's Eve game and the Islander Day game is making it into a family tradition that that is what you do on those holidays."
If this past New Year's Eve was any indication, the Storm has hit on a solid idea. More than 3,000 fans turned out to support the team on the holiday.
"We had a fantastic crowd," Shaw said. "We had a lot of people there that we hadn't seen before that were new to the game and that was very exciting to see. It was a great crowd.
We've done well, but you never sit back and sit on your laurels. You have to keep hustling because it is a competitive market out there for any entertainment dollars sports or otherwise. So you have to keep going and keep coming up with new things and keep working hard."
Shaw wants to involve the entire Island in Storm Day events, but he wasn't ready to release the details.
"We've got some things we're working on, I don't know if we're really ready to say yet what's on line," he said. "But we're really working on some things that would take in the whole Island. As much as the events happen in Summerside, it's an Island-wide focus for us as a market so it's a great day to get out a little broader than were able to do on a normal Thursday night game sort of thing."
Schurman said the idea is to make Islander Day more exciting.
"Islander Day has not been a definitive day for anybody," he said. "It's just kind of been a holiday and it's out there. But what is it? What do we celebrate? Everybody loves a storm day and obviously we have a professional basketball team now and the thought was to take the team across the province that day and do a number of activities that are fitness and health related in various communities and then highlight it with a game that would become a tradition, we hope, each and every February holiday. So let's call it Storm Day."
Supporters are being asked to fill out a suggestion form at Credit Union Place asking the Province to rename Islander Day.
"We started on New Year's Eve with a suggestion and people are signing those suggestion and they will be sent to the province and we'll see what takes place."
If it fails to get provincial approval, Summerside Mayor Basil Stewart could declare the day "Storm Day" in the City of Summerside, but the plan is to involve the entire province.