ECMA week expected to kick off tourism season with early bang

Maureen Coulter
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Charlottetown businesses ready for action as city hosts East Coast Music Week beginning Wednesday

Hunter’s Ale House staff Meredith Hines, right, and Jami-Ellen Dowling are ready for the busy East Coast Music Week. Hunter’s Ale House will be open 24 hours during the ECMAs and will host four different East Coast Music Award stages.

The much-anticipated 2014 East Coast Music Awards is nearly upon Charlottetown and the festivities are expected to give the local economy a jumpstart into the tourism season.

An events development officer expects Charlottetown to bring in $2-million to $3-million during the ECMA week.

Wayne Long, events development officer for the city of Charlottetown, said the ECMAs will have a positive impact on hotels, restaurants, bars/pubs and shops.

“It’s a wonderful event to have in the shoulder tourism season,” he said.

Given the makeup of Charlottetown and the closeness of the venues in the downtown core, it’s perfect for the ECMAs, he said.

“The ECMAs were built for our city. It’s like a large block party.”

Paul Mansour, owner of The Old Triangle, said it’s not hard to be excited for the ECMAs.

“Strictly in terms of East Coast Music Week, it’s a huge economic impact for Charlottetown and perhaps the whole Island. Certainly the bars and restaurants are happy to see it come,” he said.

Mansour said The Old Triangle will have lots going on starting Wednesday going right through until Sunday on their main floor with business hours extended until 3 a.m. The Pourhouse upstairs will have official ECMA showcases Thursday, Friday and Saturday night.

The Old Triangle hosted some events during the ECMA week in 2011. It was Mansour’s second year in business and was surprised at how busy they were.

“It is certainly a great boost in a time of year where it’s been quiet.”

“I’m a huge fan of East Coast Music Awards myself so I am definitely looking forward to seeing all the artists that we have lined up on both floors,” said Mansour.

The more attention P.E.I. can get the better, he said.

“People are going to have these memories of their trip to P.E.I. for a long time.”

Robert Henderson, minister of tourism and culture, said he is looking forward to the economic benefits of the ECMAs. He said P.E.I. is better situated this year and better organized then ever before.

“I’m very confident the retail industry will be able to handle it.”

From a tourism perspective it’s an off time of the year and it will be great to see those visitations in April, he said.

“It’s a real exciting event.”

Steve Barber, owner of Hunter’s Ale House, said they have a permit to stay open 24 hours during the ECMA week. This is the third time Hunter’s Ale House has partaken in the ECMAs since they opened in 2005.

“Each year it’s a huge influx in business,” he said.

Barber said they support the music scene 12 months of the year regardless of the ECMAs but it’s great to have them back so soon.

“It’s a good injection into the economy.”

Beginning Thursday until Sunday, Hunter’s Ale House is serving a charity breakfast from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. hosted by Dave Connolly and Ryan Merry in support of the QEH Foundation.

Organizations: Ale House, QEH Foundation

Geographic location: Charlottetown, P.E.I.

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  • yes sir
    April 01, 2014 - 12:05

    Early bang all right...if they are already here & people can actually get around the city. Gotta love spring on PEI.