THREE RIVERS, PEI – While it wasn’t easy to get there at first, the region’s three biggest summer festivals have found a way to collaborate for the 2021 season.
“We would all market it together as a Three Rivers summer series,” said events coordinator Cathleen MacKinnon, speaking on behalf of the festival committee.
Committee members presented this year’s festival plan at a Three Rivers board meeting on February 22. Some communities in the area have traditionally held their own festivals each summer, namely the Canada Day celebrations in Cardigan and the summer day celebrations in Georgetown and Montague.
But following the Three Rivers merger in 2018, some community groups feared losing their identities – or potential attendees if the festivals were to be held simultaneously in multiple communities.
Last year’s festivals were ultimately canceled due to COVID-19, giving the committee more time to get on the same page. The summer series will run throughout July and the committee has requested an increase in the council budget to fund the three festivals.
BY THE NUMBERS:
The Festivals, Arts, Culture and Events (FACE) Committee has asked the Three Rivers Board for a budget of $ 30,000 for the 2021 summer series.
Events coordinator Cathleen MacKinnon noted that this is approximately $ 10,000 more than the council budget during the previous festival season. The committee’s overall budget is $ 69,350, much of which is expected to come from other sponsors, she said.
The estimated cost breakdown is as follows:
– $ 24,900 for Canada Day in Cardigan,
– $ 15,250 for Georgetown summer days,
– $ 25,950 towards the Three River arts and culture festival in Montague,
– and $ 3,250 for the promotion of the three festivals.
While waiting for this summer’s COVID-19 guidelines, Canada Day in Cardigan will take place on July 1 and will see the addition of a nighttime concert and fireworks display at Old Brudenell Park. Then Georgetown’s Summer Days will present its usual offers from July 14-18.
The Montague festival will be renamed the Trois-Rivières Arts and Culture Festival and will take place from July 30 to August 1. The festival has incorporated the PEI Newcomers Association’s DiverCity event, so the plan is to dig deeper into this theme throughout the weekend.
In addition, the committee plans to organize more than 19 events for the Montague Festival. The packaging of the three festivals will allow their organizers to raise funds together, share resources and cross-promote other businesses and organizations that could attract more traffic to the region.
“There are so many other things going on all summer long. Literally pick a day at Three Rivers and you might find something.”
Member of the Mallory Peters Committee
Much of the budget increase is used to manage COVID-19 cohorts and social distancing regulations. The committee’s request was put forward for decision at the next council meeting.
Several councilors praised the committee’s work after several months of tension and poor communication last year. Com. Cody Jenkins noted that this was a great example of how the board should be patient with existing community groups as Three Rivers strives to establish its own identity.
“Forcing them is not, I don’t believe, the answer,” he said.