For the first time in its 55-year history, The Charlottetown Festival will not entertain audiences from around the world this summer. Confederation Centre of the Arts CEO Steve Bellamy announced today the cancellation of the Festival along with changes to visual arts and heritage programming at the Centre in 2020.
“Our province has responded admirably to this unprecedented challenge, and we are grateful for the leadership they have shown to keep Islanders and visitors safe. Unfortunately, with the necessary restrictions on large gatherings and the need for social distancing remaining in place for some time, our ability is limited, not only to host audiences, but to prepare with rehearsals and construction in the months ahead of our performances”, says Bellamy.
He continues, “We are truly saddened not to be able to share in the joy of live theatre together this season and I want to express to all of our members, partners, patrons, and artists that we cannot wait to celebrate the arts as a community again when the time is right.”
Sponsored by CIBC, the Festival was slated to run from June 3 to September 26, featuring four major productions as well as the long-standing TD Confederation Centre Young Company. This marks the first time since 1965 that the Festival, and its flagship production Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™, will not be staged.
“With respect to the legacy of our crown jewel musical, we recognize the added weight of not being able to present the 56th season of this incredible production,” offers Artistic Director Adam Brazier. “Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ is a rite of passage for thousands of Islanders and visitors every year. While it is upsetting to put this legacy on hold, this is the right thing to do for the safety of all involved. Anne’s spirit, humour, and optimism are so deeply ingrained in our culture that whether she is on stage or not, her legacy lives on. Our patrons can be assured that Anne will be here in 2021.”
For those currently holding tickets please fill out the online form<https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/FestivalRefunds> for ticketing options. The Centre team is dealing with a high volume of bookings and greatly appreciates the patience and support of patrons in this process.
The Confederation Centre Art Gallery (CCAG) summer season is also being impacted, with major exhibitions A Life’s Work: Canadian Artist Robert Harris 1849-1919 and BGL: Two Thumbs Up Arts and Crafts being delayed to 2021 due to the pandemic. A revised schedule will be announced in the weeks ahead, offering alternative programming for when the Gallery reopens.
“We are looking forward to a time when we can once again welcome the community into the Art Gallery,” says Gallery Director Kevin Rice, “and in the meantime, we are continuing to work on future exhibitions and connect to our patrons through virtual projects.”
The CCAG is currently participating in FIELD TRIP<https://www.fieldtrip.art/field-trips/the-gallery-at-rest-a-tour-of-the-temporarily-darkened-confederation-centre-art-gallerynbsp>, an online national visual arts initiative, alongside more than 25 other Canadian galleries and museums, and also offering ‘Art Class from Home’ visual art activities, found here<https://confederationcentre.com/art-class-from-home/> on the Centre’s website.
In the weeks ahead, an announcement will also be made outlining summer presentations of the Confederation Players guided walking tours and the Confederation Chamber replica exhibition. The Centre is exploring options for presenting these celebrated heritage programs.
The Centre team continues to monitor the pandemic situation day-to-day and is accessing the potential for additional programming this summer. Please continue to visit the website<http://www.confederationcentre.com/> and social media for up-to-date information.
The Centre complex itself remains closed to the public based on guidance from Public Health, but many staff are working from home and are available via email and phone.
PEI Professional Theatre Network