Tracy Cantin returns to P.E.I. for recital today at Dr. Steel Recital Hall

Sally Cole
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Summerside native Tracy Cantin will perform at the UPEI department of music recital today at the Dr. Steel Recital Hall, Charlottetown, 7:30 p.m. A native of Summerside, she currently resides in Chicago.

As soprano Tracy Cantin talks about travelling to P.E.I. this week, there are ripples of excitement in her voice.

“I am ecstatic about returning home to see my family and friends. Then to be able to come back and perform, I couldn’t be any happier,” says the Summerside native who will be featured at a recital today at Dr. Steel Recital Hall, UPEI, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

The venue is a special one for Cantin who spent her first two undergraduate years studying music at the Island university.

“It’s a very intimate program and you get a lot of attention from your professors. As well, UPEI is known as an education school and, through working with Sung Ha Shin-Bouey, I realized quite quickly that performing was going to be my future. And it was through her counsel that led me to transfer to other schools,” says Cantin, who holds degrees from McGill University, the University of Western Ontario and the University of Alberta.

An avid concert artist, Cantin has performed around the world and has recently made debuts with the Melbourne Symphony, the Ravinia Festival, Grant Park Festival, Oregon Symphony, Illinois Philharmonic and the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

But, wherever she goes, nothing compares with performing at home.

“I love coming here. The community is like nothing I’ve experienced anywhere else,” says Cantin, who in recent years has given concerts at the Indian River Festival.

“People come to hear me perform. They have supported me my entire journey, even when I didn’t know what they were supporting. So it’s truly special to come home and feel the support from the community.”

At today’s concert, the program consists of art songs, including Bach’s Ave Maria and works by Debussy, Richard Strauss, Puccini and Britain.

“I’m also excited that Dave Miller, a fabulous jazz guitarist will be joining me on a few special selections for the recital. He has transcribed some of my classical repertoire for the electric guitar. So it really creates a different sound world.”

Cantin is also thrilled to have Frances McBurnie as her accompanist.

“We’ve worked together since I was 15, so when UPEI told me that she would be playing for this recital, I could not be happier. She’s a longtime friend, coach and mentor. And truly, it was because she was playing that I knew that I could pick really challenging music.”

The daughter of Rollie and Rosemary Cantin is looking forward to meeting old and new friends at the recital.

“Quite a few people have reached out and let me know that that they are really excited that I’m going to be back and they will be coming. Besides my UPEI professors, a (former) band teacher from high school and my elementary school music teacher will be coming. That’s incredible.”

Sally Cole is an entertainment writer with The Guardian. She welcomes comments about her column as well as suggestions for future columns from readers. She may be reached at or by phone at 902-629-6000, ext. 6054.

Fast facts

- Who: Tracy Cantin.

- Honours: Received a 2014 Lieutenant Governor of Alberta Emerging Artist Award, a 2013 Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation Career Development Grant and first place in Canada’s Lois Marshall Memorial Competition.

- Website: Go to

Organizations: Island university, McGill University, University of Western Ontario University of Alberta.An Melbourne Symphony Oregon Symphony Civic Orchestra of Chicago.But The Guardian Jacqueline Desmarais Foundation

Geographic location: P.E.I., Summerside, Ravinia Grant Park Indian River Britain Alberta Canada

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