PORT HARDY — Last week’s Port Hardy District Council meeting began with a delegation from the Chamber of Commerce asking for assistance in forming a committee for this year’s Filomi Days festival.
It ended with an impromptu gathering in the back of the council chamber that may have done just that.
Debbie Huddlestan, a former Filomi Days committee volunteer who was in the visitors’ gallery for the meeting, agreed to take on a co-chair position for the 2011 Filomi Days. She and other volunteers are asking any individuals, businesses and service organizations who want to be involve to join her in an exploratory meeting Tuesday, Mar. 29, beginning at 7 p.m. at Cafe Guido.
At the start of the council meeting, the chamber delegation made up of Dennis Dugas, Yana Hrdy and Marty Whitehead expressed concern that no work had begun on Filomi Days, which typically falls the third weekend in July each year, and that the job of organizing the community summer festival would be dumped on the Chamber at the last moment.
“We’re already getting a lot of calls asking about it,” said Hrdy. “The way it looks right now, nobody is stepping up to take this on. The Chamber is happy to help and intends to be involved, but we can’t run it ourselves.”
Mayor Bev Parnham encouraged a Chamber representative to attend the next meeting of the Official Community Plan committee to share their concerns, and Patti Smedley, the District’s economic and community development coordinator, noted Filomi Days, which is now in its 33rd year, is eligible for funding through a Provincial Heritage grant.
“These festivals are great in other ways,” said Parnham. “It brings people home who are living in other places now. These festivals can also be an economic driver.”
After the meeting was adjourned, Huddlestan huddled with Dugas, Hrdy, John Tidbury and representatives of the Port Hardy Seniors, who have traditionally hosted the Filomi Days Duck Race down Tsulquate River.
Huddlestan agreed to take on a co-chair position if a second chair could be found, noting she would work up to the festival but would be traveling when it actually takes place.