Canso Regatta future organizers sought

By Lois Ann Dort    

CANSO – “The ECYA board is sort of burnt out. It has been 15 years and that is a quite a long stint for one organization to run the regatta,” said Marie Lumsden, general manager of the Eastern Communities Youth Association. That is why a meeting has been set for 4:30 on Sunday, June 12 at the ECYA Youth Centre on Telegraph Street, Canso to discuss the future of the regatta and the role local groups can play in organizing the annual summer event.

The Canso Regatta has a long history dating back to 1885, when boats under sail still filled the harbour. Since then different community groups took on the responsibility of organizing the regatta for a number of years and then passed the torch on to another group. The ECYA have decided they can no longer coordinate the entire event, but they will host the upcoming 2016 regatta. The announcement and meeting are being held at this time to ensure enough time for transition into a new organizational structure or group for the 2017 regatta.

“It’s a huge responsibility for one group,” said Lumsden, noting that the ECYA was too small a group to carry the full responsibility of organizing this important local festival which celebrates the maritime history of Canso and surrounding areas.

Lumsden thinks the best way to move forward with the regatta is to create a committee with members from different community groups taking on specific events throughout the week. “The best idea may be to split up different aspects of the regatta and have different groups be responsible for those with a coordinating body in the centre...We need help. It’s just too much for one group to do.”