By: Heather MacAdam

ANTIGONISH: A new summer music festival is in the works for the Town of Antigonish.

During the monthly meeting of Antigonish Town Council on September 17, Ray Mattie made a presentation on Nova Scotia Summer Fest, a new festival proposed to take place August 22-24 in Antigonish.

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Mattie said the event would be a celebration of Nova Scotia and Canadian music, as well as unique Nova Scotia food, drinks, crafts, products, fine art and more, with a major focus on local producers and suppliers. Eco-Tourism experiences, such as Keppoch Mountain and the Northumberland Shore, will also play a major role.

Mattie said they’ve already received a $100,000 start-up grant from the Canadian Business Development Centre, and many local partners have come forward to support them.

During the meeting, Mattie said they need to nail-down a venue to secure major acts, and he asked for the in-kind use of Columbus Field, as well as some in-kind staffing from the town.

Mayor Laurie Boucher town council is very interested in the event.

“To have something of that calibre within the town and the community of Antigonish would be phenomenal,” she said. “It looks like they’ve done so much work on it and it’s so well thought out. Ray Mattie has a lot of experience in the entertainment – especially music – field and I have no doubt that he’s done his research and he seems to have a good working group together. It sounds fantastic.”

Boucher said council will deliberate with Antigonish CAO Jeff Lawrence to see if the request is feasible.

Mattie said once they’ve secured the use of a central venue in Antigonish, his group will make a contract offer to a major Canadian or East Coast act. The next steps include scheduling a press conference on the event site no later than November 15, and setting the stage for the next six to eight months by securing corporate involvement and completing grant applications for all three levels of government.