Charlottetown = Cultural Captial of Canada

Written By Becka Viau

Get ready PEI, Charlottetown is one of Canada’s Cultural Capitals for 2011!

The  scope of this designation was announced today, and I have to say there is a lot happening in a very short amount of time.  The Cultural Capital program will kick off during the ECMA awards and conference week in April and artists, organizers, and community partners will be busy busy busy until January 2012.

Some exciting highlights that were announced this morning are:

1. Cultural Captial Launch – A Sound Celebration

The East Coast Music Association (ECMA) in partnership with the City
of Charlottetown – a designated Cultural Capital of Canada – Symphony Nova Scotia, and Music PEI will
present ‘A Sound Celebration’ to officially kick-off East Coast Music Week 2011 and formally launch the
2011 Cultural Capital of Canada programming.

‘A Sound Celebration’ will feature solo and collaborative performances by Symphony Nova Scotia under
Music Director Bernhard Gueller and Resident Conductor Martin MacDonald, and Prince Edward Island
artists Jenn Grant, Meaghan Blanchard, Paper Lions, Richard Wood and Vishtèn.

The concert will take place in the Confederation Centre of the Arts’ Homburg Theatre on Thursday, April 14
at 8:00pm. Tickets are available for purchase at the Confederation Centre’s box office or online at A limited amount is also available via

***  a great part of this initiative is that the artists working with Symphony Nova Scotia will have charts of their music developed that can translate to other symphonies around the world.

2. ECMA Arts Linkages Program -Art @ Night – Supported by the Cultural Capital Designation,  and IMAC

This program will showcase artwork by local and Maritime multi-media artists in vacant storefront windows
around downtown Charlottetown during evening hours. Local and Maritime multimedia artworks will be
presented for free to the public in various storefront windows. To view the call for submissions please visit here.

3. Pen & Inkling Festival and other Literary Events
Coordinated by the Prince Edward Island Writers’ Guild, a series of events and initiatives celebrating and
supporting literary arts in the Cultural Capital: Introduction of French student submissions accepted for the
Island Literary Awards; an extensive Writers in Schools program connecting published Island authors with
students in the two Charlottetown families of schools (30 school visits); and a compelling Literary event,
the Pen & Inkling Festival, featuring workshops, readings, the Island Literary Awards, songwriters’ circle,
lectures, book launches, exhibits, and guest reading and lecture by one of Canada’s leading Native authors.
(September 30 – October 2, 2011)

4. Film & Interactive Digital Media Productions – “Through my Eyes” Legacy Series
In partnership with the Island Media Arts Co-op, the Island Film Factory and the Interactive Media Alliance,
the City’s Cultural Capital of Canada programming will support production of five new short film and
interactive digital media works from local creators, featuring the designation theme and reflecting
Charlottetown. These works will become lasting documents of Charlottetown’s cultural identity and
creativity. The selected projects will be announced at the Island Media Arts Festival in May, and presented
at a special screening event in the fall – potentially as an opening or closing event to the Pen & Inkling

5. Young Company!! – Confederation Centre

A brand new Young Company production, The Talking Stick, respectfully telling our First Peoples’ stories, using music, dance and spoken word to remind all people of the great diversity and surprising commonalities of our First Nations communities. Aboriginal and First Nations students from every province and territory are invited to audition for the twelve roles with the expectation that P.E.I. students will show great interest and pride in the production.

There is a lot more to take in… and you can find the full press release here in English and in  French!

This is a great opportunity to showcase the amazing cultural community in Charlottetown and to build sustainable partnerships and initiatives that will continue to benefit Island artists in the future. Exciting.



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