NEWS

Stompin' Tom's P.E.I. homestead to become cultural attraction

07/31/2015 03:16 EDT | Updated 07/31/2016 05:59 EDT
A new Stompin' Tom Connors tribute attraction will be built in Skinners Pond, on the western tip of P.E.I., where the Canadian folk icon grew up.

On Friday, Egmont MP Gail Shea announced $1,253,200 in federal funding for the project on behalf of Rob Moore, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

The 4,000-square-foot facility, to be named the Stompin' Tom Centre and Schoolhouse, will commemorate the life and legacy of the Canadian singing icon, who died in 2013 at the age of 77.

It will be developed by the non-profit group Tignish Initiatives Corporation, which bought the 10-acre property from the singer-songwriter's estate in 2014.

In a news release, Shea said the government is pleased to help the group "move forward with a project that strategically links together tourism, culture, heritage and economic development, and promotes the legacy of a true Canadian icon, Stompin' Tom Connors."

The province is contributing an additional $441,250 — which includes money that had been used to develop plans for the project — plus another $150,000 for the next phase of development.

"This new centre will serve as a memorial to Tom, and as an important cultural destination drawing visitors and Stompin' Tom's fans to West Prince," said Premier Wade MacLauchlan.

"It will also give future generations of Canadian musicians a venue to hone their craft and find creative inspiration."

The attraction will offer a performance space designed to host dinner productions, corporate meetings and other events.

The schoolhouse that Stompin' Tom attended — and purchased in the 1970s to open as a museum — has fallen into disrepair and will be renovated. It will feature exhibits on the singer and how his patriotism influenced his songwriting. Property upgrades and renovations to the home, next door to the school, will also be done.

The public will be able to view plans for the project Aug. 3 at the site in Skinners Pond, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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