Major concert, visits from governor general, big sporting events on 2014 calendar
© Guardian photo by Dave Stewart
Wayne Long, events development officer for the City of Charlottetown, says 2014 will be busy with dozens of major events to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference as well as major conference and sporting events.
The city of Charlottetown is going to be party central in 2014 and the city's events development officer is dishing on some of the details.
First up, plans are in the works for a major concert at the Charlottetown Event Grounds in late August although Wayne Long isn't saying much about this big event.
The concert would serve as the grand finale for what is being called Founders' Week, one of dozens of events built around celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference.
The Guardian has learned that well-known Canadian concert promoter Donald Tarlton, chairman of the Donald K. Donald Group of Companies, has been awarded the contract to bring in some big names.
Tarlton is working with the Anschutz Entertainment Group (AEG), an American worldwide sporting and music entertainment company, to supply the Charlottetown show with entertainment.
Names like Celine Dion, Shania Twain, Arcade Fire and Bryan Adams have been floated as possible headliners but no artist has been signed. An announcement could come by early February.
As for the concert, Long, who also sits on the P.E.I. 2014 Inc. board, would only say there is lots of talk about it.
"There's lots of rumour about potential musical or cultural events,'' Long says. "Details will arise out of those (rumours) in the near future.''
Long had much more to say about other big things happening in 2014. Natal Day, a staple event in Charlottetown's calendar is taking a break and will be replaced for the coming year only with an event that centres on 1864 in Charlottetown, a celebration of culture and heritage, which will run for several days.
Long says the city has received funding from the Department of Canadian Heritage to host a number of events, one of which is Quebec Day that will feature a visit from Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume.
Governor General David Johnston plans on dropping by, along with every lieutenant-governor across Canada for a special conference in Charlottetown.
Invitations have also been extended to Prime Minister Stephen Harper as well as the Royal Family.
Long is also busy in his role as events development officer bringing other events to the capital, events that don't always grab headlines but still generate economic activity for Charlottetown.
In fact, the city spends approximately $250,000 each year on events development and hosting. Long spends much of his time each year on the road. That costs the city about $50,000. The city says that investment generates millions of economic activity by filling up hotel rooms and restaurants.
That time on the road means Charlottetown will host 500 delegates in February for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities conference. It also helps lure these events for the coming year: Softball Canada's annual general meeting; the under-14 Canadian Soccer Association national championships; the Canadian senior men's fastpitch championships; and the CIS men's university soccer championships. That's just a glimpse at what is coming.
Charlottetown and Ville de Quebec will also be announcing a 2014 partnership in February.
One day Long might be attending a conference of professionals in the U.S. before heading to Ottawa on a plane to attend a conference involving national sporting organizations.
"One of the keys is being in the marketplace and yes, it does cost money. You can't do anything in today's world without being able to invest.''
Since Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee was first elected, one of his pillars has been attracting events to the city.
"We know that event attraction is important to a small city such as ours as event hosting supports our business community, adds to the quality of life of our residents and creates awareness of all that our city has to offer,'' Lee said.
"Our success to is due, in large part, to our investment in this area and the important role our events development officer has on constantly being out in the marketplace if we are to be noticed.''