Big Wave big deal

Man re­calls nam­ing pop­u­lar lo­cal event.

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY JULIE COLLINS jcollins@cb­

So, what’s in a name? A lot if you are a six-year-old.

David Tim­mins, 24, re­calls the ex­cite­ment of nam­ing his com­mu­nity’s an­nual fes­ti­val as a Grade 1 stu­dent at Boularderie School.

“It was a pretty big deal for a six-year-old. They gave me a card with $5 which I prob­a­bly spent at Bain’s Store,” he said with a smile.

Grow­ing up five min­utes away from Fac­tory Wharf in his home com­mu­nity of Big Bras d’Or, com­ing up with the name “Big Wave” seemed pretty sim­ple at the time.

“My dad Brian and my grand­dad Har­vey Tim­mins both fish out of Fac­tory Wharf, so I guess off and on, I spent time around the wa­ter.”

These days Tim­mins works as a deck­hand on the Yvette & Lise dur­ing lob­ster sea­son and on the Bi’s Di’s dur­ing crab sea­son.

“I was just a kid and I re­mem­ber jot­ting down names un­til I fi­nally wrote down some­thing I liked and thought was catchy.”

Each year com­mu­nity groups hold ac­tiv­i­ties on con­sec­u­tive days through­out the com­mu­nity to cre­ate the week-long sum­mer fes­ti­val.

The Big Wave Sum­mer Fes­ti­val orig­i­nated from Boularderie Is­land Thyme, a one-day af­fair held at Boularderie School. Dis­cus­sions in the com­mu­nity prompted the de­vel­op­ment of an or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee. The de­ci­sion was made to have com­mu­nity or­ga­ni­za­tions hold their own events as a way to raise money and fea­ture the main event, Big Wave Day, at Fac­tory Wharf as the fes­ti­val fi­nale.

Over the years Tim­mins re­calls miss­ing only two of the Big Wave Days at Fac­tory Wharf. The fi­nal day fea­tures a poker run, live en­ter­tain­ment, chil­dren’s ac­tiv­i­ties and plenty of de­li­cious food of­fer­ings in­clud­ing rolls stuffed with lob­ster.

“As kids in the com­mu­nity we were spread over quite a few kilo­me­tres, so this brought quite a few of us to­gether.”

Tim­mins and his wife Jes­sica have two chil­dren, Lily, who is two and a half, and three-mon­thold Marek.

Tim­mins said the sum­mer fes­ti­val is a big part of the com­mu­nity.

“Hav­ing groups hold their own events along with Big Wave Day helps keep ev­ery­thing go­ing. It’s also a good way to celebrate the end of the lob­ster fish­ing sea­son.”

Fes­tiv­i­ties be­gin on Sun­day at 9 a.m. with a pan­cake break­fast, fol­lowed by a kite-mak­ing work­shop Mon­day, 1-3 p.m. and a mer­chan­dise bingo Tues­day at 7 p.m. All three events are at the Big Bras d’Or fire hall.

St. John’s United Church will host a straw­berry tea and sale Wed­nes­day from 4:30-6 p.m. and world mu­sic drum­ming is at 7 p.m. at the Big Bras d’Or fire hall.

Kite-fly­ing and a wee­nie roast will take place Thurs­day from 79 p.m. at Fac­tory Wharf.

Satur­day, July 25 is Big Wave Day be­gin­ning with reg­is­tra­tion for the poker run at 10 a.m. Life­jack­ets and seats are avail­able on lo­cal boats.

“A lot of peo­ple plan their va­ca­tions around fes­ti­val week so they can take in some of the com­mu­nity events,” said Tim­mins. “I have two aunts, one from On­tario and one from Hal­i­fax, and they al­ways come down with their fam­i­lies. On Big Wave Day there are bar­be­cues go­ing, lots of mu­sic, the poker run and the pop­u­lar lob­ster rolls.”

Depend­ing on the weather, he hopes to take his young son on the poker run.

“It (Fac­tory Wharf) goes from be­ing a smelly work­site to be­ing a nice com­mu­nity gath­er­ing place,” said Tim­mins, look­ing over the boats docked at the wharf. “A lot of work hap­pens to make sure ev­ery­thing is ship­shape for Big Wave Day.”


Lo­cal fish­er­man David Tim­mins is seen at Fac­tory Wharf in Big Bras d’Or. The wharf will be trans­formed over the next week to make way for Big Wave Day, Satur­day, July 25 — the fi­nal day of the Big Wave Sum­mer Fes­ti­val.

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