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It was  a busy week both at the Art Gallery and in general, we were invited to attend a fundraising cocktail at the home of the Premier of PEI. It was all very informal, the food was prepared by the our Premier Wade MacLauchlan, he is a very good cook. The drinks or special cocktails were very good, one made with gin and the other with bourbon. He and his husband Duncan MacIntosh have a beautiful home on the beach. The scenery is spectacular and so peaceful.

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Here we are at Covehead with our friends Blake and Alex. The Sunset in the West over the Gulf was amazing in its brilliance. Alex is the President of Pride PEI and Blake is the top hairstylist in Charlottetown. Will is enjoying one of the special cocktails.

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The Art Gallery was also very busy this week, lots of visitors, with the end of June suddenly the tourist appear. We had the big opening night and now it is regular Summer traffic.

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We were told by Robert Houle, the new commissioned canvass for the 150th Anniversary of Confederation.  Beside it is the famous and celebrated canvass by Jean-Paul Lemieux, Charlottetown Revisited, created in 1964 for the opening of the Art Gallery.

All the various canvasses on Canada and Confederation have a political message to them, my job is to steer clear of it and speak solely about the art itself and the artist.

Today is June 24 and is the National day of all of us French Canadians across Canada, originally called Saint Jean-Baptiste Day. From this old celebration comes the Canadian National Anthem O’Canada, with original lyrics in French by Adolphe-Basile Routhier and music by Calixa Lavallée. It was originally commissioned by Lieutenant-Governor of Québec, Théodore Robitaille in 1880. Like everything else in Canada, the original French version is very different in its wording from the English version composed many years later.


Ô Canada ! Terre de nos aïeux,
Ton front est ceint de fleurons glorieux !
Car ton bras sait porter l’épée,
Il sait porter la croix !
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
Et ta valeur, de foi trempée,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits,
Protégera nos foyers et nos droits.
Sous l’œil de Dieu, près du fleuve géant,
Le Canadien grandit en espérant.
Il est né d’une race fière,
Béni fut son berceau.
Le ciel a marqué sa carrière
Dans ce monde nouveau.
Toujours guidé par sa lumière,
Il gardera l’honneur de son drapeau,
Il gardera l’honneur de son drapeau.
De son patron, précurseur du vrai Dieu,
Il porte au front l’auréole de feu.
Ennemi de la tyrannie
Mais plein de loyauté,
Il veut garder dans l’harmonie,
Sa fière liberté.
Et par l’effort de son génie,
Sur notre sol asseoir la vérité,
Sur notre sol asseoir la vérité.
Amour sacré du trône et de l’autel,
Remplis nos cœurs de ton souffle immortel !
Parmi les races étrangères,
Notre guide est la loi :
Sachons être un peuple de frères,
Sous le joug de la foi.
Et répétons, comme nos pères,
Le cri vainqueur : « Pour le Christ et le roi ! »
Le cri vainqueur : « Pour le Christ et le roi ! ».

Next week on Friday 1 July is Canada Day, in Charlottetown the tall ships are sailing in at 9am. Hopefully it will be a nice clear day, to watch this spectacle.

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We will be able to observe them from our house and it will make the harbour look as it was in 1900.

This week Earle Macdonald who has a blog on Facebook about old Charlottetown published a photo of what the city was like before 1989 showing the rail yards across the street from our home. The waterfront which today has been reclaimed and turned into parkland was then a very industrial area.

In this photo you can see, barely, our house, hidden by trees.

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The big round house for locomotives and the rail cars refurbishment buildings with other Canadian National Railway buildings. Only the Brass shop and what is now called Founder’s Hall remain today the rest is parkland. The cruise ships dock at the end of the wharf now Prince Street.

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The old Brass shop, still standing and completely renovated housing today Receiver Coffee Co. and John’s Bread Works.

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Today the Brass Shop c.1876 much improved.

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Founder’s Hall today, to be soon re-developed into a market