The first year P.E.I.’s fledgling music industry association came together to recognize the year’s best recordings and promote Island artists, pretty much everything happened on one day.
There was a fan fair, an awards gala, a post-show reception and a promise of bigger and better things as the industry grew. That was more than 10 years ago.
Metro Credit Union Music P.E.I. Week, which kicks off Friday night with Nudie’s House of Rock at The Mack, raises the curtain on a full week of events that will bring performances by Island artists to venues right across the province.
“It’s going to be a very big week,” Rob Oakie, executive director of Music P.E.I., said Wednesday.
He said the first big show of the week, Nudie’s House of Rock, is already sold out.
He said they are optimistic the next big show, the Country Jubilee in Summerside, will draw well.
Oakie said Music P.E.I. Week has grown into a huge event.
“It’s not a full seven days, but it spans the week and there are a lot of things happening. Our conference this year is very impressive. I’m really impressed with the depth of it, with the people we’re bringing in. We’re starting to rival some of the other regional conferences. My big wish now is that people come out for those sessions.”
Oakie said if people are really serious about having a music career, they need to come out to these sessions.
“We can connect them with people who can help advance their careers. We have music supervisors coming in who can put several thousand dollars in your pockets if they help you get your music into films and television shows.”
There will be sessions on festivals and events, sessions on where to find money to help cover touring, recording, marketing and promotion, sessions on getting gigs and reaching fans and a lot more.
A full schedule of those sessions and other events is available online at http://www.musicpei.com.
For fans, it’s all about the music and the next several days will offer opportunities galore to hear some of the best live music P.E.I. has to offer, regardless of what kind of music you like.
“We’ve put together a great list of shows,” Oakie says. “We’ll have shows from Georgetown to Alberton. And I’m really excited about some of the new shows, like Nudie’s House of Rock.”
Nudie’s House of Rock will feature performances by Paper Lions, Two Hours Traffic, Coyote and The Meds, with two bands on stage at a time going song for song.
Chas Guay, Dennis Ellsworth and John MacPhee will play a Soupy Saturday show at Back Alley Music Saturday afternoon.
The next big show, the Country Jubilee, goes Wednesday night in Summerside with Eddy Quinn, Johnny Oliver, Lester MacPherson, Meaghan Blanchard and Nudie.
Next Thursday night, the focus shifts to the King’s Playhouse in Georgetown for one of Music P.E.I. Week’s most popular draws, the Songwriters Association of Canada songwriters concert.
Sharing the stage that night are Dennis Ellsworth, Catherine MacLellan, Tim Chaisson, Nudie, John MacPhee of Paper Lions
and Nathan Gill of North Lakes.
Friday Night Live returns again this year with shows in Charlottetown, Summerside, Alberton and Breadalbane.
There are rock shows, roots/traditional shows, jazz shows and country shows. Most of those shows are licensed but there’s an all-ages show at the Solid Rock Café.
The Music P.E.I. Awards Gala next Saturday night will feature performances by Coyote, the Ian Toms Trio, Tim Chaisson and
Two Hours Traffic, plus a special appearance by Jenn Grant.
Music P.E.I. will be presenting awards at events scattered throughout the week, starting with the presentation of the awards for visual artist of the year and rock recording of the year at separate events this Friday evening.