Choose Summerside aiming to show Islanders and visitors what the city has to offer

Published on April 20, 2017

Dan Kutcher, left, and Jane Sharpe with the Choose Summerside photo prop. Kutcher is the president of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce and Sharpe is the Chamber’s executive director.

©Millicent McKay/Journal Pioneer

Dan Kutcher is proud of Summerside.

Dan Kutcher announces the upcoming Choose Summerside event at Credit Union Place in Summerside on Thursday. Choose Summerside is set for Saturday May 6, at Credit Union Place in Summerside from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Millicent McKay/Journal Pioneer

“There is a lot to be proud of in this city. The more we talk better about ourselves, the more that reflects to those who come here,” said Kutcher, the president of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce.

On Monday, Kutcher announced the launch of the Choose Summerside event coming to Credit Union Place on May 6.

Community members from the Chamber, Downtown Summerside and Explore Summerside organized the event.

“Choose Summerside is lined up to be one of the biggest events of its kind in many years,” said Kutcher.

“Choose Summerside is also an idea… an idea that we have so much to be proud of. That we have so much to explore in our own backyards, along Water Street and Granville Street and on your street.”

The Choose Summerside event stemmed from the Chamber’s Way Forward conference series in 2015.

David Heckbert, left, chats with Dan Kutcher, the president of the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce, about the upcoming Choose Summerside event scheduled for Saturday May 6 at Credit Union Place in Summerside from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Millicent McKay/Journal Pioneer

At the conference, business owners and community members committed to changing the perception of living and working in Summerside.

“They decided it was time to change the channel and develop a new message and stronger narrative in our community that was backed up by who we are and what we have to offer,” explained Kutcher.

The event, running from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. is family friendly with kids stations and activities throughout the day. There is a food court area, stage and more than 70 participating businesses and organizations setting up interactive booths and displays.

“I’m looking forward to seeing all the vendors and participants engaging with each other. There is an interactive component to each station, so it’s not just standing behind a table. A lot of the participants are being really creative,” said Kutcher.

He added, “There is a real hustle and bustle of a market place kind of feeling with this event. I’m hoping it will allow people to see what was old is new again, and that it will allow us to become better ambassadors for our city.”

Jane Sharpe, the executive director of the chamber, is looking forward to the opportunity to get businesses interacting with community under the same roof.

“It will highlight some of our hidden gems. We have a lot of businesses that, even people who have lived in Summerside a very long time, don’t really know what they do. And businesses are always changing and getting new products and stock, so I think there will be some surprises at the event."

“I hope, when people leave the event, they walk away having said ‘aha’ at least once.”

Pierre Gallant, the president of Downtown Summerside, is excited for Choose Summerside.

“It’s a great opportunity to let people know what we have and what we can offer as a city,” said Gallant.

“It will allow us, as businesses in the city, to show people that you don’t need to go somewhere else for goods, services and restaurants. Instead you can stay here and choose Summerside.”

What’s on the program for Choose Summerside stage?

– 10 to 10:40 a.m. and 11 to 11:40 a.m.: Mike Pendergast “For the Kids”

– Noon to 1:30 p.m.: Logan Maddix

– 1:30 to 1:45 p.m.: Learning Centre story time

– 1:45 to 2 p.m.: College of Piping

– 2:30 to 3 p.m.: Hug a Tree – children’s outdoor safety

– 3:15 to 3:30 p.m.: Summerside Choir

– 3:45 to 4 p.m.: National Bank Presentation – credit: making it work for you