Saturday, 23 July 2011

Richmond County Party A Success

Warden John Boudreau makes opening address while Potlotek drummers under drum leadership of Eddy Doucette wait to open the celebration

A number of visitors enjoyed the entertainment

In excess of 100 locals and visitors filled the United Church Hall

What a party!!!Celebrate Cape Breton Island hosted by Destination Cape Breton in partnership with the Municipality of Richmond was definitely a success filling the United Church Hall in St. Peter's. A group of over 100 gathered as Richmond County came out to celebrate our Island being named #1 Island in North America. Richmond County Councilors Gail Johnson and Steve MacNeil as well as Warden John Bourdreau were on hand as well as members from local community groups, Richmond artisans and gift shops operators and residents and a good number of visitors to the area were on hand to enjoy the party. Warden John Boudreau opened the festivities with a welcoming address expressing the significance of having Cape Breton Island named number 1 island in North America and Number 3 island in the world, and what this will mean for tourism in Cape Breton. Entertainers from around Richmond came out to donate their time and talent to the event. Richmond's Adam Cooke emceed the function as well as preformed and accompanied artists throughout the afternoon. Visitors were treated to a sample of the cultural mix of music the county has to offer. A native drum group from Potlotek First Nation under the leader Eddy Doucette opened with the traditional tune Honor. Potlotec resident Robert Pictou performed a ceremonial Smugging ceremony which many of the audience took part in. Local entertainers George Martin, Leona Burkey-Smith, McKayla MacNeil, Krysta McKinnon, Nikita Sampson, Jennifer Mombourquette's Highland Dancers kept the audience clapping in time as they performed numbers in French and English. During the intermission councilor Gail Johnson did the honor of cutting the Cape Breton Island number 1 cake, while Red Island resident Maureen Coleman, who worked on the UNESCO project, cut the cake for the Bras d'Or Lake UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. The Bras d'Or Lake was named the newest UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the world the end of June, another accolade that will bring attention to this fair island. Visitors and locals alike viewed local artisans works during the intermission and it was nice to see items on display from the brand new gift shop in Richmond Forget Me Nots from the St. Georges Channel area as well as displays from Mac's Celtic Shop, La Picasse and Hill Top and Ruircroft Galleries. And to end the program Piper Edna Casey stood on the steps of the Hall overlooking the St. Peter's Bay and performed my favorite Amazing Grace, what an experience, visitors and locals alike came away with a new appreciation for this amazing island.

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