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CHEERS AND JEERS: Jack Frost Winterfest attracts nearly 7,000 Islanders

The Love Junkies perform on the stage at Victoria Row for The Guardian’s Frosty Night as part of Jack Frost Winterfest. While it was chilly, the band kept a crowd of more than 2,500 warm with some uplifting music throughout the night.
The Love Junkies perform on the stage at Victoria Row for The Guardian’s Frosty Night, part of Jack Frost Winterfest. -File photo

CHEERS: To the Atlantic Veterinary College (AVC), which has been granted full accreditation by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Council on Education (COE) for the next seven years. AVC dean Dr. Greg Keefe says, “This achievement by the college is a testament to the quality of our program and the people engaged in its delivery. This is an important milestone.” It was a lengthy and rigorous process for the P.E.I. campus at UPEI. To prepare for the site visit last fall, the AVC began to prepare 16 months in advance.

CHEERS: To the Jack Frost Winterfest which attracted close to 7,000 Islanders and visitors to the February event, an increase of 11 per cent in attendance over 2017. The festival creates an anchor winter tourism product during a traditionally slow time. This year, 37 per cent of guests were visitors from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. Efforts to create a bigger impact among the entire business community were successful. For example, The Guardian’s Frosty Night brought close to 2,500 people to the downtown for a free concert and fireworks show that Saturday night. Planning is already underway for 2019 during the Islander Day weekend, February 15-17.

CHEERS: To UPEI women’s basketball coach Greg Gould who told disappointed players Thursday he is stepping down. Gould joined the Panthers in 2012, taking over a team that had a three-year, 2-58 record. He leaves the women’s basketball program with a 43-57 record, qualifying for the playoffs each year and leading the team to one of its most successful seasons in the last decade. This year, the squad went 11 and 9 during the regular season and then defeated the UNB Varsity Reds in the quarterfinals and the Cape Breton University Capers in the semi-finals of AUS playoffs before losing to Acadia in the final. His retirement brings to an end an illustrious 48-year coaching career for the Moncton, N.B. native.

JEERS: To Mother Nature for dragging out to the bitter end the conclusion to this above-average winter season. The snow late last week hopefully marked the last hurrah to the lingering cold and wet conditions. This week looks like we’ve finally turned the corner with warm temperatures and sunny skies forecast into Wednesday. Belfast’s Highland Greens golf course opens Tuesday and one or two more could follow suit later this week. Other courses are planning an early May launch. Still, we are almost two weeks behind last spring

CHEERS: To Laura Johnson-Montigny, who oversaw Canadian Red Cross programs and services throughout P.E.I. for more than seven years. She is leaving to pursue a new opportunity in the private sector. Her final day as P.E.I. Director of the Canadian Red Cross is today (Monday, April 23.) Under her guidance, a campaign raised $1 million that allowed the Red Cross to move from the small heritage building that served as P.E.I. headquarters in downtown Charlottetown for more than 70 years to our new building that includes a Disaster Management and Training Centre on Paramount Drive, which opened in November 2014.

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