Ice Jam on track

17th an­nual Johnny Miles event set for Feb. 19 in Syd­ney Mines

Cape Breton Post - - NORTHSIDE/VICTORIA - BY JEREMY FRASER jeremy.fraser@cb­

Plans are well un­der­way for the an­nual Ice Jam mu­sic event later this month.

The 17th an­nual fundraiser is spon­sored by the Johnny Miles Com­mu­nity So­ci­ety and is one of a num­ber of events put on each year in sup­port of the Johnny Miles Fes­ti­val in Syd­ney Mines.

This year’s event will take place on Feb. 19 from 5 p.m.-1 a.m. at the Syd­ney Mines Le­gion, fea­tur­ing eight bands and a va­ri­ety of mu­sic by lo­cal tal­ent.

“One of the main rea­sons why we do this Ice Jam is that it gives peo­ple a break from the win­ter,” said vol­un­teer so­ci­ety mem­ber Eu­gene Ram­sey. “It gives them some­thing to look for­ward to and some­thing for them to do.”

The an­nual Johnny Miles Fes­ti­val pays trib­ute to the fa­mous run­ner and for­mer Syd­ney Mines res­i­dent.

Miles won the hearts of many Cana­di­ans, win­ning the Bos­ton Marathon in 1926, the first of two ti­tles from the U.S. event. He also rep­re­sented Canada twice at the Olympics be­fore re­tir­ing to work with In­ter­na­tional Har­vesters.

Ram­sey said the Ice Jam is im­por­tant.

“It’s for the fes­ti­val and it keeps the name Johnny Miles out there,” he said. “We do sev­eral events a year and this one kind of primes peo­ple up for the Johnny Miles Fes­ti­val, be­cause they have al­ready been to the Ice Jam. It’s im­por­tant to keep the name go­ing and to keep the fes­ti­val so­ci­ety work­ing all the time.”

Al­though there aren’t many changes to this year’s event from pre­vi­ous years, the one change is the time. This year’s fundraiser will run un­til 1 a.m. be­cause Her­itage Day, Nova Sco­tia’s Fe­bru­ary hol­i­day, falls on Feb. 20.

“We’ve flipped it many dif­fer­ent ways, but there’s not a lot we can do to make a big dif­fer­ence in chang­ing it,” said Ram­sey. “It’s ba­si­cally an evening of mu­sic and fun for every­one.”

Ram­sey said the event con­tin­ues to be pop­u­lar each year.

“We’ve been do­ing this for a num­ber of years now and it seems to work out well for us — peo­ple re­ally love it,” he said. “We use to do it from 2 p.m. to 12 a.m., but that was a long day for the work­ers.”

Ram­sey said the so­ci­ety is al­ways look­ing for vol­un­teers to help with events like the Ice Jam.

“When we look for peo­ple to vol­un­teer, we look for re­spon­si­ble and re­li­able peo­ple from any age group,” he said. “It’s not hard work, mostly what you do is you sell tick­ets or help with door prizes, it’s not hard work, any­body can do it – they don’t have to vol­un­teer for the whole day, it’s two-hour shifts.”

Al­though the dates for this year’s Johnny Miles Fes­ti­val haven’t been con­firmed, it’s ex­pected to take place in early Au­gust. Ram­sey said once the Ice Jam is over, the com­mit­tee will be­gin plan­ning for the sum­mer fes­ti­val, in­clud­ing con­firm­ing the dates.

Tick­ets for the Ice Jam are ex­pected to go on sale to the pub­lic next week. Tick­ets will be avail­able at Ram­sey Wood­work­ing on Fraser Av­enue in Syd­ney Mines as well as the Syd­ney Mines Pen­sion­ers Club or from any com­mit­tee mem­bers. Tick­ets will also be avail­able at the door on the day of the event.

Ram­sey is en­cour­ag­ing every­one to at­tend the mid-win­ter func­tion.

“We are look­ing for­ward to see­ing you all at the Ice Jam,” said Ram­sey.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to vol­un­teer for the Ice Jam, con­tact Ram­sey at 902-736-8739 or Mer­dina Bond at 902-736-6013.

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