Extra cash should go to projects, not into group's operating budget
P.E.I. 2014 Inc. got it partly right. The announcement Thursday to reduce a grant to the Confederation Centre of the Arts from $240,000 to $100,000 was the right decision. But transferring the remaining $140,000 back to P.E.I. 2014 Inc.’s operating budget isn’t fair.
It’s not fair to provincial groups who made applications for funding to celebrate our sesquicentennial and were denied because the money ran out. And it’s not fair because that money was allocated for community projects and not for an operating budget for the board. Island communities should not suffer because P.E.I. 2014 belatedly decides it needs more operating cash.
It’s obvious there was confusion and some confidentiality issues which kept all the facts from coming out earlier about the two main stage productions which the centre hoped to stage next year, to complement the 50th anniversary of Anne of Green Gables The Musical.
The bottom line is that the Confederation Centre will have $100,000 support to bring back the musical review Canada Rocks to its main stage in 2014. Canada Rocks needs to be updated for sure, and $100,000 should provide enough funds to freshen some of the music.
The other cash was to help mount a new historical musical to celebrate the meeting of the Fathers of Confederation in Charlottetown. When plans to bring 1864: The Musical to the stage was recently cancelled, it was only right that a hefty portion of the $240,000 grant had to be reduced.
Centre CEO Jessie Inman said earlier this month that Canada Rocks wouldn't get the treatment it needs to return to the stage if the P.E.I. 2014 board reneged on part of the original $240,000 grant. Bringing back a main stage production shouldn’t be dependent on independent funding. Who paid to stage Canada Rocks in the first place back in 2005 and 2006?
. . . Canadians will be looking to gas up at Petro Canada service stations instead of watching the Winter Olympics when they see those new hideous Team Canada sweaters. Hockey Canada unveiled the new hockey jerseys for the 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. The Canadian hockey jerseys will be worn exclusively in competition by the men’s, women’s and sledge hockey teams representing Canada. They are supposed to hearken back to gold medal teams of yesteryear, but they are just plain ugly.
. . . Next year, the Charlottetown Islanders (QMJHL) and local the Children’s Wish Foundation might plan their major spaghetti-fest fundraisers on different days. Pasta was the flavor of the day this past Wednesday. The Factory hosted two noon sittings for the Children’s Wish Foundation, leading up the Wishmakers Parade today. Meanwhile, on Wednesday evening at Eastside Mario’s, two more spaghetti dinners were served as the Islanders raised money for Breast Cancer Awareness. Many people would have supported both charities, but not on the same day. It was spaghetti sauce overload and poor planning by someone.
… As we celebrate the Thanksgiving Day holiday weekend, Islanders should take a moment and remember that we do have much to be thankful for this year. We had great weather most of the summer, resulting in a record blueberry crop and the potato crop looks excellent with ideal harvesting condition. While lobster prices were weak, landings were strong, golf courses are in great shape, tourism seems to be slightly above last year’s levels, which is a good thing, and the cruise ship invasion continues unabated. There are problems facing many people of course, but this weekend, let us give thanks for being able to live in a democratic and peaceful province and country. Enjoy that turkey.