With only a few days left before it happens, the Big Event is shaping up to be the larger than anyone believed possible.
“I hope this is the biggest event ever on the North Island,” said Carol Dirom who, along with her husband, Bruce, owns Hardy Buoys Smoked Fish.
“Not just for our sake, I just feel this is so needed on the North Island,” Carol said.
“I think it’s become apparent everyone is just ready to let off steam.”
The Big Event happens Sunday at the Civic Centre and will, in large part, determine whether Hardy Buoys gets a rejuvenating jump start from Arlene Dickinson, one of the celebrities on CBC’s new show, the Big Decision.
The Big Decision uses two stars from its hit show, The Dragon’s Den, to work with struggling, but established Canadian businesses to offer advice and maybe even investment cash — if certain criteria is met.
In Carol’s case, that was to organize and host a community event that draws attention to the North Island.
So far, she said the response has been fantastic.
“People are just coming forward,” said Dirom.
“We recently received two tickets to see Madonna live in concert, donated by Paul Tupper, from Port Hardy Bulldozing.”
Carol said offers of gifts and even baked goods keep rolling in.
For example, Seto’s restaurant is featuring a different Hardy Buoys’ product every night of the week and there are even rumours someone is trying to concoct salmon and chocolate truffles.
The response to the cooking contest has also been incredible, Dirom said.
“We set out to get teams for the pizza creation contest and I wondered who would want to do this because you never know with the North Island, either they’re on it or they’re not,” she said.
“Turns out we had 22 diverse teams register and teams aren’t just from Port hardy, they’re from all over.
Carol told CBC producers she didn’t know who to cut because she loved them all.
“At the end of the day they’re making a TV show and couldn’t accommodate that many teams,” she said.
“So on Saturday, there will be a preliminary round where all the teams will send a representative with their ingredients to create their pizza.”
From there the 22 teams will be whittled down to more manageable number.
“We don’t know how many teams will advance to the playoffs on Sunday,” Dirom said.
How well the day’s event comes off could dictate whether Hardy Buoys will get the help it needs.
“Arlene may come in, but we don’t know what she’ll want,” Dirom said.
“Is she going to want a percentage of the company? Will she want a percentage of profits down the road? We just don’t know.”
The show will be airing only four episodes and will each feature two companies.
“We’re on the last one, we’re the finale,” Dirom said.
“I’ve been told by the CBC that all the verdicts are in, except Hardy Buoys and we wrap up Monday.
The Big Event happens Feb. 26 and winning ticket holders must be in attendance to claim their prizes.
Attendees are asked to bring a non-perishable food item and to also park at Thunderbird Mall where a shuttle will take them to the event at the Civic Centre.