A front-page image in Friday’s Journal Pioneer provides us with a hint of what a bronze statue to be unveiled in Sudbury Ontario later this year might look like. The statue will immortalize the late Stompin’ Tom Connors who, in 1967, recorded “Sudbury Saturday Night.”
We know the statue will show Connors playing a guitar. Most of the statue’s features won’t be known, though, until it is officially unveiled in Sudbury, likely this summer.
We also don’t yet know what Prince Edward Island’s tribute to Stompin’ Tom will consist of. We know, though, it should be something big.
Stompin’ Tom’s Sudbury Saturday Night might have helped put the Ontario mining city on the map, but it was here on P.E.I. that Tom Connors spent his boyhood years, and it was from here that the teenager set out on a cross-Canada hitch-hiking trip that would inevitably launch his career as a patriotic Canadian country and folk singer-songwriter.
Songs like Bud the Spud and The Song of the Irish Moss have endeared Islanders to Tom Connors and made him a Prince Edward Islander ambassador of sorts.
This coming Thursday, it will be one year since Stompin’ Tom died. It’s time for the provincial government to finalize plans for its official tribute to this Canadian singing legend.
Prince Edward Island lost another great singer this week with the passing of Angèle Arsenault. This woman from Abram-Village, P.E.I., based her musical career out of Quebec but she was a proud Islander who helped pave the way for many other Acadian singers and musicians. Many great musical groups have come out of the Evangeline region, many of them inspired and encouraged by the success Angèle Arsenault enjoyed as a singer, songwriter and television personality. A tribute to Angèle Arsenault in her native Abram-Village would be fitting.
Although the musical careers of both great singer-songwriters ended too soon, their music and their songs will live on. They’ve made great music and they made us proud.