Future of Cape Egmont Lighthouse becoming clearer
Community to develop multi-faceted plan
MONT-CARMEL, PEI – May 6, 2013 – Citizens of the Evangeline area have just adopted a vision for a tourism development focusing first on the site of the Cape Egmont Lighthouse and then on the development of the nearby wharf, the improvement of the beach next to the wharf and finally the construction of trails linking all of these facets.
During a public meeting on the topic May 2 in Mont-Carmel, the 22 people present mandated a new subcommittee – composed of fishermen Gerald Arsenault and Robert Gallant, tourist operator Réjeanne Arsenault and citizens Louise Comeau and George Arsenault – to work with a concept specialist to conceive detailed modules for each individual facet of the proposed development.
Consultant Harvey Sawler had proposed this concept during his recent analysis of Evangeline area attractions. The community had previously suggested a long list of options for the site but the consultant’s proposal is the one that retained the attention of those attending the meeting.
The community asked for a plan with several separate modules so that it could proceed by phase.
As far as the lighthouse site itself is concerned, the citizens want to keep its development to a minimum. They’d like to be able to develop a parking lot and to charge a small toll or fee to get to the site. Funds collected would cover insurance and upkeep of the site. Local fishermen estimate that several hundred vehicles visit the site each year, without any publicity whatsoever. A bit of promotion would certainly multiply that number.
It was suggested that a student could be hired in the summer to help visitors tour the lighthouse. If its interior is not suited for such visits, perhaps, with permission from the federal government, steps and an observation deck could be built onto the exterior of the lighthouse.
Alcide Bernard chaired the meeting on behalf of the Evangeline Tourism Association. The organization is ready to help prepare a funding proposal so the community could hire a concept specialist to work with the subcommittee to develop the concept. However, the association is asking that another organization (co-operative, community or private) become the development’s leader.
Last year, the community had asked Fisheries and Oceans to receive ownership of the property since DFO was getting rid of several of its lighthouses. The proposal was accepted conditionally. The community has three years to submit a proposal detailing specifically what it wants to do with the site. Once the plan is approved, DFO will sign over the property.
For more information:
Association touristique Évangéline