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An emerging Charlottetown country music artist couldn’t be more pumped to be giving her first performance in the U.S. this weekend.
Julia Dunn, 19, was chosen to accompany Wayne Long, events development officer with the city, and Coun. Alanna Jankov to Forest City, N.C., as part of an economic and cultural partnership the two cities have.
“This is an honour. I am so excited,’’ Dunn told The Guardian on Wednesday.
Dunn will perform at a small art shop in Forest City today before performing the national anthem. That will be followed by another two performances later in the day.
“Honestly, hopefully, it can make me a few fans in the U.S., kind of get my name out there, even in Forest City,’’ she said. “It’s just a real honour to be able to go to another country. I’m really pumped. Even for the City (of Charlottetown) to think of me as someone worthy of taking is just awesome.’’
Charlottetown has a number of municipal partnerships with other cities — Quebec City, Forest City, Shediac and a city in Japan. The partnerships are formed on best practices of economic development, tourism, culture, heritage, beautification and any other areas Charlottetown officials feel it can provide some valuable information.
“Essentially, when you’re twinning with another destination, you want to ensure that there is value both ways,’’ Long said.
“It’s just a real honour to be able to go to another country. I’m really pumped. Even for the City (of Charlottetown) to think of me as someone worthy of taking is just awesome.’’
Last fall, the mayor of Forest City visited Charlottetown to learn more about the city’s Christmas celebrations. Forest City is well known as being a Christmas town. A number of Hallmark TV movies have been filmed in the city.
Long made the trip down to Forest City a week later to continue the process of learning from each other.
This week’s trip — they left Thursday and return on Monday — is based around culture and event tourism. Dunn, Jankov and Long will get to see Forest City open a new outdoor ampitheatre. There will be a number of celebrations around the opening, which Dunn will take part in.
Dunn is no stranger to the big stage. She performed with country legend Keith Urban in Cavendish in 2015.
The trip will cost the City of Charlottetown about $5,000, money already set aside under the municipal partnerships line item in the 2019-20 budget. Dunn’s costs are being paid by Forest City.
Long said Jankov is also part of the trip due to her strong ties to Charlottetown’s cultural scene as executive director of The Guild.
Long said it’s not only a chance to showcase an artist from Charlottetown on the international scene but it’s an opportunity to be part of a signature event in a partner city.
“We’re going to learn more about the venue that was built. We’re going to learn about the costing of it. We’re going to learn about how partnerships brought this to reality (and) we’re going to learn about the impact it has on Forest City.’’
The partnership continues this summer.
Forest City will be sending a brother and sister duo to Charlottetown to perform at the P.E.I. Jazz and Blues Festival as well as the city’s Canada Day celebrations.