Don Quarles, newly hired executive director of the Summerside Lobster Carnival, chats with Jane Sharpe, general manager of theGreater Summerside Chamber of Commerce. The chamber will be one of several organizations Quarles will be working with to stage the 2014 Summerside Lobster Carnival.
SUMMERSIDE – The Summerside Lobster Carnival has a new executive director.
Don Quarles has taken over the lead job to rejuvenate the 55-year-old event.
Quarels, a native of Montreal, brings a wealth of experience to the position.
“My background is events and event production and I’ve done events, not only in municipal venues but also in regions across the country,” he said. “My background is not only understanding what it takes to put on an event, but also understanding that it takes a community, the involvement of the community, and partnerships to build a successful event.”
Quarels isn’t walking in with a set of goals for lobster carnival. He said he will be taking a group approach to developing the lobster carnival, looking at its past and building towards the future.
“The strategy is to talk to the planning committee and understand what the successes have been in the past and build on those successes,” Quarles said. “Quite frankly, I think there are lots of opportunity to expand and build something that not only the community is proud of but also draws people from areas outside of Summerside as well as off-Island.
There’s a number of people that I’ll be working with and I’ll be communicating with in order to get feedback and draw information from.”
Quarles found his way to Summerside through Ontario.
“I was born in Montreal and I raised my kids in Ontario,” he said. “I have daughters that are now going to university in Nova Scotia so I was looking to come east. I met a wonderful woman from Summerside.”
The new executive realizes that time is short to get events in line for the 2014 lobster carnival event.
Normally, when one carnival finishes, planning for the next begins right away.
But Quarles he’s up to the task.
“I realize how much work has to be done,” he said.
The city took ownership of the lobster carnival after the Summerside Rotary Club agreed to give up sponsoring the event.
City council decided it was time to hire a person to work full-time, year round on the lobster carnival to ensure its continued growth.