Cavendish Beach Music Festival announces donations to several music-oriented organizations
A decade from now a graduate of Holland College’s proposed performance hall will take the stage at the Cavendish Beach Music Festival (CBMF).
That was the promise made Thursday by college president Brian MacMillan after CBMF made a $10,000 donation to the hall project.
“Let’s mark that down as a historical mark because I’m willing to bet now that in 10 years we’ll have someone performing at (the) festival,’’ MacMillan said during a press conference in Charlottetown where CBMF donated $38,000 to five local music programs.
The recipients are Music P.E.I.; East Coast Music Awards; College of Piping; Holland College; and the English Language School Board.
All the 50/50 prizes that have gone unclaimed over the previous five CBMF events have been allocated here to help promote and support music endeavours in P.E.I. Including Thursday’s donations, CBMF has now donated $538,000 in its five-year history.
MacMillan said re-investing that money back into music programs will help put local artists on stage in Cavendish years from now.
Cynthia Fleet, superintendent of the English Language School Board, said their $10,000 cheque will go in two different directions.
“One is to ensure all of our students have an opportunity to explore an interest in music and, secondly, to ensure students who do excel and show promise are given full opportunity to become the greatest musicians in Canada,’’ Fleet said.
Rob Oakie, executive director of Music P.E.I., says the partnership with the Cavendish festival has helped make their country jubilee event at Harbourfront Jubilee Theatre in Summerside one of Music P.E.I. Week’s signature events.
“It was one of the events we added last year, which was a huge success,’’ Oakie said.
Karen Hatcher, executive director of the College of Piping, said donations like this help pay for classes that teach bagpiping, highland snare drumming, highland dancing and step dancing.
“It will go towards quality education programming,’’ Hatcher said.
Jeff Squires, co-owner of the Cavendish festival, says CBMF has grown into much more than just a multi-day headline music event that brings in tourism dollars. It is now a major partner with organizations that are ingrained in local music programs.
“It goes to show you the reach of the festival,’’ Squires said. “We have such a strong music and cultural community here and it continues to be even more vibrant.’’
The sixth annual Cavendish festival, July 4-6, will feature big names like Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum and Hunter Hayes.
Squires says investing in music programs means MacMillan may be right — some of those local students may very well end up on his stage someday.
“They’re good and they’re passionate and they need the tools and instruments to work with and this is just a contribution to ensure that continues to happen,’’ he said, referring the music programs CBMF wrote cheques to on Thursday.