JEERS: (With tongue-in-cheek) To Shawn Mendes, one of the star musical attractions for this weekend’s 10th anniversary edition of the Cavendish Beach Music Festival. Mendes, a native of Pickering, Ont. is the latest teen music idol to attract fans around North American and abroad. Earlier last month, Mendes spent a week co-hosting the Late, Late Show with TV star James Corden in Los Angeles - delivering monologues and performing as musical guest. Then two weeks ago he was on CBC Radio for an in-depth morning interview in Toronto. Despite the two glittering opportunities, Mendes failed to mention his upcoming, headlining appearance on P.E.I.
C’mon, Shawn, at least one little acknowledgment was in order for what will be your musical career highlight to date. To accommodate the pop music superstar, the CBMF added an extra day on Monday to grab a younger audience and family crowd.
CHEERS: To the Toronto Maple Leafs for signing NHL superstar free agent John Tavares, the biggest catch of the summer, from the New York Islanders. Tavares is returning to the city of his birth (Mississauga) and where he grew up and learned his hockey skills. Despite the elation of signing Tavares, it was a costly weekend for the Leafs who saw James van Riemsdyk depart for Philadelphia, Tyler Bozak to St. Louis. Leo Komarov to the New York Islanders, Tomas Plekanec to Montreal, and Roman Polak to Dallas.
The return of Plekanec was the lone signing for the hapless Habs who continue to founder both off and on the ice. You know the franchise has reached rock bottom when free agents like Tavares refuse to even talk to Montreal about an offer. The decay starts at the top, and when Habs’ GM Marc Bergevin says his biggest goal next season is to complete for a playoff spot – alarmingly low expectations - you know it’s time for a change.
CHEERS: To the more than 50 hardy golfers who were ferried ashore by a fleet of zodiacs from a cruise ship anchored more than 1 km off the Links at Crowbush Cove on Saturday morning. The golfers were on a tour of courses around the Gulf of St. Lawrence. After playing in the Iles de la Madeleine, the cruise ship headed for Lakeside and then it was off to Inverness, Cape Breton to play Cabot Links and Cabot Cliffs. After first landing dozens of golf bags by zodiac, Crowbush staff were busying ferrying golfers from the beach to clubhouse. Many of the golfers came ashore in rubber boots and rain gear in less than ideal conditions before changing into more comfortable playing attire as weather conditions improved. Several locals noted it was like a D-Day invasion at Lakeside beach.
CHEERS: To parents and teachers who showed up for consultation meetings of the Public Schools Branch last week. After a raucous consultation process in late 2016 and early 2017, which culminated in the controversial recommendation to close St. Jean and Georgetown schools, one would expect parental interest in issues of school catchment and capacity would still be high. Strangely, attendance at the consultation meetings last week was modest; over the three sessions, roughly 48 parents and teachers attended. They offered constructive suggestions to the PSB board on how to deal with the issue of full schools in Charlottetown. Parents and teachers who came out should be commended for their show of civic responsibility and their vigilance. Those still interested in weighing in on the future of the school system can fill out an online survey on the PSB website until July 20.
JEERS: To climate change which resulted in snow falling in parts of Cape Breton and Newfoundland and Labrador earlier last week. With the official start of summer some five days earlier, it was startling to see the remnants of a lingering cool, wet spring deliver one last blow before departing. Weather forecasts had warned of a heat wave to settle in over the Maritimes on the weekend; then it was delayed to the start of this week. At time of writing Monday, we were still waiting. It was 21 C at mid-afternoon Monday, far from the predicted 28 C. Sunday’s night’s temperature dropped to a chilly 11 C for the fireworks show. Now we’re told that the warm temps won’t reach P.E.I. until today (Tuesday). Really? We won’t hold our breath.
CHEERS: To 12-year-old Charlottetown peewee hockey player Keegan Rush-Germaine for going out on his own to raise money for the families affected by the tragic Humboldt bus crash in Saskatchewan in April. The youngster designed bracelets that he sold for $5 that read “April 6, 2018’’ signifying the day of the crash and “Prayers for Humboldt.’’ He set out to raise $1,200 and exceeded his goal by hauling in $1,303.
CHEERS: The fireworks extravaganza on the Charlottetown waterfront Sunday to cap off marathon Canada Day celebrations. The fireworks quickly got the crowd energized on a calm, chilly evening. The low cloud cover seemed to deflect and amplify the sound of the exploding firework, while thousands of spectators were treated a brilliant light shows extending far across the low sky.
CHEERS: To the legacy of harness racing legend Mike MacDonald, known in local sports circles as Mr. Gold Cup and Saucer - with five race titles to his credit. MacDonald, 70, of Parkdale, passed away in late June and a special evening of memories and celebration was held at Red Shores racetrack and casino. Horsemen and fans from far and wide jammed into the facility for the tribute. It was at the Charlottetown Driving Park that MacDonald first made a name for himself before re-locating to Blue Bonnets in Montreal for many years. He always returned for Old Home Week with top horses to support his native province. His funeral mass at St. Dunstan’s Basilica also drew a huge crowd of mourners for a final goodbye.
CHEERS: To the City of Charlottetown for opening its recreational community pools for the season, beginning last Thursday. The Victoria Park Pool and Splash Pad was the first to open and will operate seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. Admission to the Victoria Park Pool is free. The Simmons Pool opened on Friday, June 29. The pool will be open from 1 p.m. until 7:45 p.m., seven days a week. The daily admission rate is $2 per person. Children under seven years of age must be accompanied by a responsible adult.