PEI

Beyond the ceilidh: Goose River Community Centre finding new ways to survive

When the Goose River Community Centre relaunched last summer, it discovered the old ways of doing business needed to be rethought.

'All the people that used to go to the ceilidhs every weekend, they're all gone'

The Goose River Community Centre building was originally used for processing honey. (Google Street View)

When the Goose River Community Centre relaunched last summer, it discovered the old ways of doing business needed to be rethought.

The building near P.E.I.'s North Shore used to be used for processing honey, but when the bees were gone, a local community member took it over and began throwing ceilidhs and card games. But it fell into disuse when he died.

Last year, Janie MacKinnon was asked if she could get the centre active again. With the support of local businesses, she raised some money to fix it up again, and in August threw the first of four ceilidhs.

There's got to be something else to do besides ceilidhs.- Janie MacKinnon

It didn't go as well as she hoped.

"In our own small community of Goose River, all the people that used to go to the ceilidhs every weekend, they're all gone. They have passed," MacKinnon said.

"I thought there's got to be something else to do besides ceilidhs."

With an eye to attracting those younger community members, earlier this year she tried trivia, and then threw an art party. The success of those event convinced her the Goose River Community Centre could be a viable enterprise again.

Fishing derby

With the recreational fishing season opening Sunday, MacKinnon was approached with a new idea.

Christopher MacKinnon, whose father died three years ago, suggested a fishing derby to launch the season in memory of his dad.

"He was a lobster fisherman, and a carpenter, and whatever else you need to be to get things going," MacKinnon said.

The Brendon MacKinnon Memorial Fishing Derby will start weighing Sunday at 9 a.m. and continue until noon. There will be prizes for the top three biggest fish, and a $5 entry fee.

MacKinnon said she has not entirely given up on ceilidhs, and will run a few when the tourists return.

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