CHEERS: To Gerard Ellsworth, a well-known former softball umpire, who has thrown his official’s hat into the race for Ward 1, seeking a seat on Charlottetown city council. Ellsworth, a former city employee with a deep knowledge of Charlottetown staffing and hiring practices, seems to have left little to chance in his campaign. Not many candidates for council can brag they have a former mayor running their campaign, but Ellsworth can. Ian (Tex) MacDonald is in charge - in a slight reversal of form from earlier in their careers. Ellsworth was behind the plate when he tossed Tex out of many a softball game when he was player-coach with powerful senior teams in the city over the years but all that’s forgotten now.
CHEERS: To members of the graduating class of 2018 in P.E.I. high schools, many of whom will receive their Grade 12 diplomas in ceremonies this week. Charlottetown Rural will hold its popular prom this evening at the Confederation Centre, followed by Colonel Gray on Tuesday – both of which attract hundreds of family members and friends for the “grand parade.” Then on Thursday, seven schools will hold graduations, followed by three more on Friday. Graduation ceremonies will conclude with the final four events early next week.
JEERS: To Health P.E.I. for reducing the hours of operation at the emergency room at Montague’s Kings County Memorial Hospital (KCMH). The emergency department will open at 8 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. daily starting July 1. The emergency department currently operates from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Health P.E.I. says the adjustment is to accommodate changes to primary care, supported by evidence that shows patient volumes peak early in the day and over suppertime hours.
Health P.E.I. will be reassessing the impact to emergency department services at the end of summer. Fewer hours is a reduction in health services in that region. On a more positive note, Health P.E.I. is adding resources at the KCMH by hiring dedicated emergency department physicians to support the complement of family physicians already providing emergency care at the hospital and hopefully address the recent chronic challenges with physician coverage.
CHEERS: To Canadian contemporary folk artist Irish Mythen and indie-pop band Paper Lions who will headline the City of Charlottetown’s 2018 Capital City Canada Day celebrations Sunday, July 1 in Victoria Park. Irish Mythen and Paper Lions will be joined at Coastal Vibes – an all-day musical celebration at the Victoria Park Cultural Pavilion – by a line-up of talented Island musicians. Capital City Canada Day will also feature a Family Fun Zone and an official opening ceremony with performances by the Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors and members of the Confederation Centre Youth Chorus. The celebrations will be capped off with a fireworks display launched from the boardwalk in Victoria Park behind the Prince the cannons at 10 p.m.
CHEERS: To local P.E.I. composer Leo Marchildon who is returning to Watermark Theatre this summer, composing music for its upcoming production of “Dial M For Murder.” Leo composed music for “Blithe Spirit” and “The Glass Menagerie” two years ago for the theatre. Marchildon says he’s decided that with "Dial M" to focus on moods and textures rather than developing character themes, reminiscent of the Hitchcockian thrillers of the 1950's. He has written for television, film, and stage as well as working as music editor for such TV shows as Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda and The Adventures of Sinbad. His score for the musical drama The Nine Lives of L.M. Montgomery precipitated his move to P.E.I. in 2007. He currently serves as organist/music director for St. Dunstan’s Basilica and is music supervisor for the Diocese of Charlottetown.
CHEERS: To organizer Claudette Thériault and the 2019 Congrès Mondial Acadien (World Acadian Congress) August 10 - 24, 2019, which is expected to bring tens of thousands of visitors to P.E.I. and southeastern New Brunswick. Thériault boldly proclaims that next summer’s event will have an earth-shaking impact on the region’s culture and economy as she expects more than 100,000 people to show up for the congress. Held every five years since 1994, the Congrès brings together Acadians from around the world, especially Atlantic Canada, Quebec, New England, France, and Louisiana. Celebrations include music (traditional and new), Acadian cuisine, history, genealogy, family reunions, conferences, youth activities and a chance to visit Acadian communities across the region. There will be 20 Acadian communities involved - eight in Prince Edward Island and 12 in New Brunswick.