Gerry Dee latest success story for HCSU

By Darcy Cudmore

Jan. 26, 2016

Gerry Dee walks onto the stage at Harbourfront Theatre in Summerside.

A crowd of 500 fans erupt in applause before quickly turning to laughter.

The CBC comedian pokes fun at student union president David Campbell. Then he moves onto events and marketing coordinator Josh Vessey.

The crowd laughs and they don’t stop until he walks off stage over an hour later.

Dee is best known as the star and creator of the sitcom, Mr.D, which is now in its fifth season. He is also a successful stand-up comedian.

Campbell is a big reason in bringing the comedian to P.E.I. and got to meet Dee before the show.

“He warned me beforehand that I was gonna get it. It was all in good fun,” Campbell said.

He couldn’t be happier with the show.

“As far as the investment and the return, it was definitely worth it. I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback from everyone.”

He is the first president elected from the Summerside campus, where he takes the computer information systems program.

He was elected last March.

In his campaign, he promised Summerside students a big event and he has delivered on that promise. Gerry Dee is one of the biggest comedy acts in Canada.

The event also attracted hundreds of students from Charlottetown, the event and marketing coordinator, Josh Vessey said.

“We thought if we went bigger, people wouldn’t mind travelling to Summerside.”

The theatre has just over 500 seats and the student union reserved 300 for Holland College students, who could purchase tickets at 50 per cent of the regular cost. They also had first chance at the tickets.

The student union has had a successful year.

They began a breakfast program for students that supplies 100 brown bag breakfasts a day.

It has been very popular, Campbell said.

“There’s no doubt we could put another 100 out every day and they’d be taken.”

It is one of the services the union looks to provide for students to make their lives easier.

Campbell has worked with Greg Gairns, the union’s general manager, to better the health and dental plans.

“In past years, coverage went as low as 10 per cent in areas. It’s now 80 per cent across the board,” said Gairns.

Campbell is most proud of another event the union organized.

“The paint party may be the most successful event the student union has ever done.”

The Technicolour Dreams paint party was held Dec. 4, 2015 and sold out of the 650 tickets.

People were lined up outside, trying to get in.

The union is already planning next year’s paint party, which they hope to hold earlier in the school year.

They will look to use the brand new Florence Simmons Performance Hall by the end of the year as well.