Charlottetown announces details of 1864 anniversary week celebrations

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Meaghan Blanchard performs at a news conference announcing details of 1864 anniversary week events. Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee and Tourism Minister Robert Henderson look on.

More free concerts are coming to Charlottetown this summer after the city announced its plans for a six-day festival to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference.

Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee said the festival will replace the city’s usual Natal Day activities and gives an opportunity to showcase the province’s musical talent.

“What that’s going to do it’s going to give these artists, local artists, the ability to showcase their talents to Charlottetownians and to Islanders,” he said.

The festival will run from June 9-15 and feature daily concerts in Victoria Park with 32 acts, all of which will be free.

There will also be other events spread throughout the week, such as fireworks, bike and skateboarding competitions, tours of historic homes and a special cultural market.

On June 14, the city will celebrate Quebec Day in recognition of the roles that Charlottetown and Quebec City played in Confederation through their respective conferences held in 1864.

Quebec City will hold its own Charlottetown Day in the fall, including the opening of a garden named after P.E.I.’s capital.

The City of Charlottetown is paying $35,000 for the festival, which Lee said was about $10,000 more than what the city usually spends on Natal Day.

He defended the spending, saying Charlottetown isn’t like any other city in the country because it is the birthplace of Confederation.

“If we’re not going to celebrate that uniqueness then we’re going to have a difficult time convincing Canadians about the uniqueness of it, why they should come to Charlottetown as the birthplace of Confederation.”

Part of the festivities will be the unveiling of the new Hillsborough Historic Commons Gateway Project, which will feature a new sign at the entrance to the city near the Hillsborough Bridge.

Once the commons is finished, flags for every province and territory will line the back of the Charlottetown Event Grounds, a fence will separate the commons from the site and there will be interpretive panels for pedestrians.

The total cost for the project is $642,000, which will be shared between several groups, including the city, Heritage Canada, P.E.I. 2014, Downtown Charlottetown Inc., the Charlottetown Harbour Authority and the Charlottetown Area Development Corporation.

Lee said the commons is an effort to improve the entrance to the city and recognizes that the event grounds needed to be finished with some type of fencing.

“It’s going to be a lot more attractive, welcoming entrance to the city of Charlottetown.” 

A schedule of festival events is available on the city’s website at

Organizations: Department of Canadian Heritage, P.E.I. 2014, Charlottetown Area Development Downtown Charlottetown Charlottetown Harbour Authority West Royalty Community Centre

Geographic location: Charlottetown, Québec City, Canada Victoria Park

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Recent comments

  • bobby boy
    May 09, 2014 - 16:04

    So it's free if the tax dollars are paying for it... are they? Just misleading a bit.

    May 09, 2014 - 09:51

    Maybe they want the roads of 150 years ago to add to the authenticity? The attitudes of those days are often evident just minus the top hats.

  • tax me, i'm a poor islander
    May 09, 2014 - 06:24

    This $70 million being spent by the province on this 2014 foolishness is asinine. I just paid my 2013 income taxes and PEI is the 2nd highest province for income tax in Canada. And I just received my property tax statement. We pay $1.50 per $100 of assessment to the PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT. And a much smaller portion to the municipal government which actually provides all of our local services. You know what legacy I'd like to see from 2014? The provincial government bring in some real tax reform. Increase the minimum exemption to address bracket creep. Make the income tax rate commensurate with the average of all Canadian provinces. And get rid of the provincial portion of income tax - let municipalities decide on the amount that they want to charge and get the province out of the property tax business completely. And if you cry poor because of lack of revenue, cut some public services, including the number of politicians and bureaucrats.

  • The Observer from Stratford
    May 08, 2014 - 15:10

    Am I the only one who feels that the City of Charlottetown and the province's 2014 celebrations group are not on the same page? Instead of presenting a common front they seem to be staging their events independently. We now have events planned for the Events Grounds, Confederation Landing Park and now Victoria Park. If the Guardian was really on the ball they might have a reporter looking into this. Could be an interesting story of conflicting agendas and double spending here.

    • Francis McKinnon
      May 08, 2014 - 21:30

      PEI 2014 and Canadian Heritage are partners with the 1864 anniversary celebrations These are the actual community celebrations celebrating the 1864 conference. They are all working together on planning these events. Great year to enjoy.

    • In the Know
      May 08, 2014 - 22:42

      The Observer from Stratford … I assure you that all parties have worked together. Each event, dates and locations were strategically planned.

  • I am hoping
    May 08, 2014 - 12:38

    I am hoping all of the tourists driving on our roads, don't lose their tires or damage their cars, from driving on them. Bumpety bump bump bump.

    • Serious Reader
      May 09, 2014 - 07:04

      Oh how I agree with you !! Look at the fees/charges etc paid just to own a vehicle - and then the taxes on fuel. And still there are streets and roads that I wouldn't drive a horse and buggy over. So proud of our "leaders" - of course their cars are replaced every couple of years., so they are immune to it all. Karma good folks - karma!!!