CBC star Arlene Dickinson moments after arriving for the Big Community Event that Carol Dirom (r) organized for the new CBC show

CBC star Arlene Dickinson moments after arriving for the Big Community Event that Carol Dirom (r) organized for the new CBC show

Big Event a smokin’ success, says TV star

Port Hardy—In what was arguably the biggest spectacle on the North Island during the past 50 years

Port Hardy—In what was arguably the biggest spectacle on the North Island during the past 50 years, the Big Community Event went off in grand fashion  and without a hitch.

“I was blown away by the turnout — I was overwhelmed by it,” said Carol Dirom, who, with husband Bruce, owns Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish Inc.

It’s estimated more than 2,000 people showed at the Port Hardy Civic Centre to take part in the event, which was all part of the CBC show, the Big Decision, that could save the distressed Hardy Buoys.

The Big Decision uses stars from its hit show, The Dragons’ Den, to work with struggling, but established Canadian businesses to offer advice and maybe even cash to invest — if certain criteria are met.

In  Carol’s case, she worked with Arlene Dickinson and was tasked organizing and hosting a community event that would draw attention to the North Island.

Based on that alone, Hardy Buoys would seem to be a shoo-in to win.

“I can’t really say what happened,” Carol told the Gazette Tuesday.

“We don’t have all the details yet, but it was  positive (and) let’s just say Hardy Buoys will be around for a while yet.”

So will memories of the Big Event where more than 2,000 hot dogs were given away. As well, thousands of non-alcoholic drinks of all types were given free to thirsty members of the crowd.

In fact, all the food — which included platter after platter of candied, smoked salmon, salmon burgers, pizza and even some Asian food — was free.

As was the entertainment that included two local bands, a First Nations’ dance display, face-painting and an appearance by Clifton Murray.

More than 22 teams entered the Big Flavour Face Off, which saw that number whittled to eight for the final cook-off, which was won by two teams,  Tasty Tam’s Pizza, and the Executives — a team of ladies sporting Dickinson’s red locks with the shock of white — which split the $5,000 prize. Both teams donated the money to local charities.

The food bank also did well and received more than 500-lbs of non-perishable food and $200 donated by folks at the event.

The event was vital in determining whether Hardy Buoys gets a rejuvenating jump start from Dickinson, who kept mum on what her decision will be.

“I’m still mulling it over to be honest with you and I’m not going to play my hand right here,” she said, moments before hopping into a car to leave the Civic Centre.“But I can tell you I’m very appreciative of the things they did do.”

Dickinson had high praise for the Diroms as well.

Bruce and Carol are highly professional, highly motivated, highly ethical business people and I have appreciated the efforts they made — they’ve done a lot of the things I asked them to do,” she said.

“Now I have just have to take  closer look at some of the numbers and take a closer look at what the future looks like so I can make my decision.”

At the end of the day Sunday, Dickinson said she was blown away by what Carol and the North Island  pulled off.

“This is an amazing community and you should be proud to live here,” she said.

“I have travelled far and wide and have been all around the  world and I have never seen the spirit I’ve seen right here in Port Hardy.”

But Carol said she wasn’t surprised by the turnout.

“There was never a doubt in my mind, I envisioned exactly what I’m seeing right now,” she said from the stage, overlooking the crowd.

“There’s never a doubt in my mind that we as a community can do anything when we put our minds to it,” she said.

“So, let’s not stop today, keep the momentum going — we’re not the only business on the North Island that has its share of struggles and if we can all help our friends and neighbours we can accomplish a lot.”

The Big Decision begins airing in March, and the Hardy Buoys segment airs April 2 and there are plans to put it on the big screen at the Civic Centre. More on that in an upcoming Gazette as details become available.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair logo
Mount Waddington Regional Fall Fair cancelled again due to COVID-19 restrictions

The 2022 fall fair is still scheduled to take place in Port Hardy

North Island Gazette
EDITORIAL: What to do about homelessness in Port Hardy

‘people suffering from homelessness deserve to be treated with dignity and compassion’

North Island Eagles logo
North Island Eagles give update on the upcoming 2021-2022 season

The North Island Eagles minor rep hockey teams are getting ready for… Continue reading

Ma Murrays 2021 virtual ceremony screenshot
North Island Gazette wins big at 2021 Ma Murray Newspaper Awards

Zoe Ducklow and Bill McQuarrie both won gold at the online ceremony

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

Most Read