This Saskatchewan family adores P.E.I. so much they sang a song about it
'We were struck when we were there just how beautiful and varied it is'
There's a family out in the prairies that loves Prince Edward Island so much they made a video about it.
Douglas Anderson and his family live in Saskatoon and, following a trip here in 2017, decided they'd whip up a love-letter-like video to honour one of the stops in their "family adventure" during Canada 150.
"It's just a beautiful place. We were struck when we were there just how beautiful and varied it is and it's all in such a compact space," he said.
"It just feel like a very comfortable place, a very inviting place to go and visit and, I imagine, to live."
In the video, titled I Wanna Go to PEI, Anderson and his family wear shirts repping the Island while singing about places they once visited and yearn to see again.
From taking the ferry and visiting Spinnakers Landing in Summerside, to playing all day in Kings Castle Provincial Park and dipping their toes in the red sand, the family sings about everything they'd love to do so they can head home "with a smile from Prince Edward's isle."
Creating memories with family
The song wasn't just made out of the blue, in fact it was a several years in the making.
Once a year, Anderson and a group write songs based on a theme they choose. Several years ago they chose to write songs about the provinces of Canada and got randomly assigned a place to sing about.
"I actually had Saskatchewan, and I was a little disappointed because I wanted something a little more exotic," he said.
"I did that and then there was one left at the end that didn't get taken, it was P.E.I. So I wrote a song for it, about how much I'd like to go to P.E.I."
He had the song, but it wasn't until the family actually went to the Island in 2017 where they got "more personal experience to draw from" to tune the song into something special.
"I was able to kind of change it and improve it and put some of my own experience into the song rather than it just being a thing that I was making up," he said.
The trip to the Island was also a bit of a getaway too — as Micah, Anderson's son, had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.
"That experience and the experience since then has just shown us that you just need to make the most of life because you never know what life is going to throw at you," Anderson said.
"So when we planned this trip we just wanted to go and experience the places we were going to."
That meant seeing the beaches, getting COWS ice cream and taking in the magic of Green Gables — a few of the highlights from that trip.
Micah is now healthy and tumour-free, but is still dealing with the side effects of the treatment, he said.
"It's still a big part of our life, but it's nice to be able to go on vacation and kind of get away from things and build memories."
The experience of spending time together on the Island (or anywhere, for that matter) and the process of making videos about their family adventures is a big part in creating memories together.
And that's what keeps the tight-knit family so close.
"People often say that memories are more important than buying new, fancy things," he said.
"I've made a number of videos with my kids in the last few years … it's kind of a fun thing that we do together and it's a memory that we make."