Young Company Returns

The Young Company Returns with ‘THE RISING!’

-After a 2020 hiatus, ‘YoCo’ returns with energetic and optimistic look at protest music-

There are certain hallmarks of a Charlottetown summer: Victoria Row filling up on a sunny day; running into old friends during Old Home Week; and the sights and sounds of the Young Company in the outdoor amphitheatre. After a year’s absence due to the pandemic, the ‘YoCo’ returns to Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Presented in partnership with TD Ready Commitment., the Confederation Centre Young Company is debuting an all new show this year—THE RISING! Created by Herbie Barnes, Adam Brazier, Bob Foster and Germaine Konji, this free outdoor production is an explosive and optimistic experience exploring protest music and moments in time where society stood up for civil and judicial rights. 

Theatre PEI

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

Centre Announces Infrastructure Plan

Major Infrastructure Investment Helps Modernize Confederation Centre of the Arts

-Upgrades will benefit patrons and staff, and will improve the overall visitor experience-

A major infrastructure investment by the federal government will result in an enhanced patron experience, and better systems for staff at Confederation Centre of the Arts.

The $1.707 million investment from ACOA, Canadian Heritage, and the Centre supports major facility upgrades including new track lighting and a new elevator in the gallery, new IT hardware for staff, electrical upgrades, updated audio-visual equipment, and other investments that help to modernize the facility, and improve the overall visitor and staff experience. It also includes funding to support the conceptual design phase of a revitalization and renovation project being proposed by the Centre.

“Confederation Centre of the Arts is one of the country’s leading cultural institutions, and a key contributor to the Island’s tourism industry,” notes Sean Casey, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown, speaking on behalf the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA, and the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage. “Investments like the ones announced today help ensure that the Centre can continue to deliver the very best in arts and heritage programming – while boosting the economy, and supporting many local businesses and jobs.”

“We have seen many great creations being born in Confederation Centre of the Arts over the years. Creative spaces like Confederation Centre are vital for our communities and cultural sector becoming a hub that brings ideas to the stage, creates stories, and offers unique experiences for the public. That is why the Government of Canada continues to fund such projects that strengthens our economy and enrich our communities”, comments Steven Guilbeault, Minister of Canadian Heritage. 

“On behalf of all of us at Confederation Centre of the Arts, I’d like to express sincere thanks to ACOA, Canadian Heritage and MP Sean Casey for providing this very timely, and much needed investment in the Centre,” says Confederation Centre of the Arts CEO Steve Bellamy. “As a charitable organization that serves the local, regional, and national communities, it can be very challenging to find the funding necessary to make major investments in infrastructure and technology. This investment was crucial for the replacement and critical upgrades of things like the elevator and track lighting in the Gallery, audio-visual equipment in the theatre, outdated IT hardware and infrastructure throughout the Centre, and many other items that were long overdue for replacement or upgrade.”

ACOA provided an additional non-repayable contribution of $100,000 through the Innovative Communities Fund to support conceptual designs for a proposed interior and exterior revitalization to Confederation Centre that aims to improve the public aesthetic, traffic flow, and accessibility.

Another $647,587 was provided by Canadian Heritage through the Canada Cultural Spaces Fund (CCSF) to support the creation of conceptual design plans for the revitalization of the Centre and  to acquire specialized technical equipment for the Mainstage, the art gallery, and concourse space.

The remaining $213,113 was funded by Confederation Centre of the Arts.

Theatre PEI

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

New Partnership Launched

Local Organizations to Benefit from New Community Program at the Centre

-Lou MacEachern Community Partnership Program launched at CCOA-

A new partnership program launched at Confederation Centre of the Arts will make the Centre’s facilities more accessible to a variety of local organizations.

The Lou MacEachern Community Partnership Program allows a diverse cross-section of local organizations whose goals and objectives are aligned with those of the Centre to have better access to the Centre’s facilities and resources.

“This program allows the Centre to partner with some of the organizations that share our values and goals so that we can help one another,” describes Centre CEO Steve Bellamy. “By making our facilities and resources more accessible to these organizations, we make it easier for them to meet their mandate, which benefits the wider community.”

The program is supported by a two hundred thousand-dollar ($200,000) donation from long-time Centre supporter Lou MacEachern. The donation will also see the Centre’s Upper Plaza, facing Grafton Street, continue to bear his name moving forward.

“I am thrilled to be supporting Confederation Centre of the Arts and the creation of the Community Partnership Program,” states MacEachern. “Community has always been very important to me. We should always offer a helpful hand to those who need it, locally, regionally, and nationally and it is critical—now more than ever—that we collaborate and build community together.”

The Centre has partnered with five organizations for the new program: L’nueyBlack Cultural SocietyUnited Way of PEIArt In The Openandthe PEI Symphony Orchestra.

“Thank you, Confederation Centre and Lou MacEachern for partnering with us to celebrate the work United Way of PEI does in our community,” offers United Way Executive Director Andrea MacDonald. “Collaborating with the Centre on recent projects like United by Song, our signature event that shares the stories of Islanders who have been impacted by our funded programs, has been a wonderful opportunity for everyone. This new partnership program is a valuable platform, one that will help us act together on shared initiatives here in Charlottetown and across P.E.I.”

The Centre looks forward to announcing further details of the program including shared initiatives with each of these organizations in the months ahead.

Background

Louis “Lou” William MacEachern is an active volunteer and philanthropist in both his native Prince Edward Island and his long-time home of Calgary, Alberta. Mr. MacEachern is the President of Fortune Industries Ltd, a property management and financing company. He has served or is currently serving on the board of numerous corporations, including: Acadia Capital Corporation, Blueland Resources, Buckeye Energy Corp, Eagle Plains Resources Ltd, Hoodoo Hydrocarbons Ltd, Hurricane Hydrocarbons Ltd., RareMethod Capital Inc., and Wellpoint Services.

Lou’s long-standing community engagement includes contributions to the governance of such Island institutions as Confederation Centre of the Arts (since 2000), UPEI, and Holland College, as well as support for the Salvation Army and youth shelters. His contributions to the Centre have been generous, including towards the named space in his honour, the Lou MacEachern Upper Plaza (Grafton-street entrance).

Mr. MacEachern’s generosity will help fund the new Community Partnership Program, an access program for a diverse range of Island community groups with shared values that will facilitate improved access and integration when presenting programs and working with and at Confederation Centre of the Arts.

About the Centre: At Confederation Centre of the Arts we celebrate the origins and evolution of Canada through a rich variety of heritage and arts programming. We aim to inspire Canadians to consider our country’s past, present, and future through performing arts, visual arts, and educational experiences – truly The Centre for all Canadians.

Theatre PEI

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

The 39 Steps

We are delighted to announce our 2021 Festival Season! This, our 39th season, will feature two irresistible shows playing all summer long, from Canada Day till Labour Day.

Our season begins with Off The Grid, the first Atlantic Canadian production of Fredericton playwright John Spurway. Since his play Between Friends debuted at Lighthouse Festival Theatre in Ontario in 2008, Spurway’s works have been staged a number of times in Canada and the US, but until now, not in Atlantic Canada.

The play features Marty, an architect anxious to learn more about self-sufficient houses so she can write a magazine article about living “off the grid”. Her husband Leonard is a loans officer who has reluctantly agreed to spend a week without his creature comforts while Marty writes her article and they celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary. While Leonard adjusts to life without TV, the internet, or a flush toilet, Marty gets some guidance from Lowell, their reclusive next-door neighbour, who has been living out in the middle of nowhere for two years. But Leonard is wary of this unusual recluse. It seems like Lowell might be hiding something… but he’s not the only one keeping secrets!

Off The Grid will be directed by Mark Fraser and features Melissa Kramer, who starred in the Playhouse production of Dancing Lessons in 2018; Lee J. Campbell, who patrons may recognize from our 2017 production of On A First Name Basis; and Jim Fowler, a Nova Scotia resident and veteran of stage and screen.

Off The Grid will preview on July 1st and 2nd and open on July 3rd.

Next up, we are thrilled to present Farmgate Theatre’s original production The Good Time Radio Variety Show!

The Playhouse will be transformed into the sound stage of Island Radio Station CRPO for the weekly broadcast of The Good Time Radio Variety Show. A modern take on the classic radio variety show complete with music, mystery, comedy, adventure, and thrilling sound effects all performed live in front of a studio audience. It’s always a good time for a good time!

The all-star cast includes nationally recognized performers who all make PEI their home. Actors Julain Molnar and Cameron MacDuffeeare regulars at the Charlottetown Festival and musicians Karen Graves and Adam Hill are members of the award-winning Atlantic String Machine. Director Charlotte Gowdy’s credits include the Stratford Festival, PEI’s Watermark Theatre and two previous shows for the Victoria Playhouse.

The Good Time Radio Variety Show will preview on July 9th and open on July 10th.

Theatre PEI

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

Rising Up

This is a FREE event to attend, but we highly suggest you book your tickets by clicking the “Buy Tickets” button above, to guarantee a seat upon arrival. However, there will be a section reserved for daily walk-ins on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The 2021 Festival includes the Confederation Centre Young Company, in partnership with TD Ready Commitment.

The Young Company will perform the new production THE RISING!—a high-energy journey exploring protest music and moments in time where society stood up for civil and judicial rights. A universal language, music transcends geographic and cultural barriers and has played an essential role in protests for generations. Weaving songs from such artists as Tracey Chapman, Lady Gaga, Macklemore, CCR, and Bob MarleyThe Rising! is an inspiring, high-energy journey about striving for a better and more equitable humanity.

This production will be presented in the outdoor amphitheatre, from July 9-August 21.

Please note: the entire performance, including the seating area, is outdoors. Therefore, if poor weather occurs the event will be canceled.

Theatre PEI

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

Full Cast Announced

Full Cast Announced For ‘DEAR RITA’ at The Charlottetown Festival

 World premiere will feature an ensemble of actor-musicians channeling Rita MacNeil’s songs and spirit

Tickets are “flying on their own” for this summer’s world premiere of Dear Rita,opening June 29 at The Charlottetown Festival. Sponsored by Key Murray Law, Dear Rita is a musical toast to ‘Cape Breton’s First Lady of Song’, celebrating the life, tenacity, and musical legacy of the late great, Rita MacNeil.

Confederation Centre of the Arts is pleased to announce the show’s cast of performers, including: Michelle Bouey (Lovers’ Lament), Sheldon Elter (Métis Mutt; Evangeline), Kristi Hansen (Citadel Theatre), Melissa MacKenzie (Good Girl), and Festival favourite, Brendan Wall.

Additional musical accompaniment is from guitar legend Chris Corrigan (P.E.I.), who in fact recorded and toured as Rita’s lead guitarist for many years; and drummer Trevor Grant.

“We picked songs from Rita’s catalogue, from her popular hits to ones that made her bandmates weep, and created narratives around these to offer new perspectives,” shares Kyte, the playwright. “I keep getting asked, ‘Who plays Rita?’ The answer is that it’s not one person. Everyone is Rita — everyone on the stage, and everyone whose heart she touched with her music. In Dear Rita, we invite Rita’s spirit into the room so her songs can live on through our own experiences.”

MacKenzie and Bouey share the distinction of both being Islanders making their Mainstage debuts in Dear Rita and are also both alums of the Confederation Centre Young Company. For Bouey’s part, she can’t wait to connect with audiences through Rita’s music. “I grew up listening to Rita MacNeil and watching her Christmas TV specials,” she shares. “To think that a small group of us get to honour her legacy on East Coast soil is so special”

An Edmonton native, Hansen is also marking her Festival debut, following turns with the NAC, Citadel Theatre, and Vertigo Theatre. Elter, Hansen’s husband is a versatile actor,  writer, and musician, known nationally for his one man show, Métis Mutt, which he performed at the Festival in 2018. His TV credits include CAUTION: May Contain   Nuts, Hank Williams’ First Nation, Delmer & Marta, and Hell on Wheels

Dear Rita is presented from June 29 to August 6. Festival tickets can be purchased online, via phone at 1 (800) 565.0278, or in person at the Centre’s box office. Shows will be presented with no intermission and concessions are to be ordered online in advance. 

Confederation Centre wishes to acknowledge the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Government of P.E.I., and the City of Charlottetown for their continued support. The title sponsor of The Charlottetown Festival is CIBC.

Theatre PEI

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n

Watermark Updates a Cottager

Casting Update – Cottagers and Indians

A casting change to our production of Cottagers and Indians. The role of Arthur Copper will now be played by Gordon Patrick White.
Gordon has worked with various companies in the Atlantic provinces, as well as The Great Canadian Theatre Company in Ottawa (‘An Acre of Time’), Native Earth in Toronto (‘A Very Polite Genocide’), Magnus Theatre in Thunder Bay (‘Dead White Writer on the Floor’), and Theatre North West in Prince George BC (‘Where The Blood Mixes’). Other credits include Clov in ‘Endgame’ (Theatre NFLD and Labrador); ‘The Velveteen Rabbit’ (Theatre New Brunswick); Puck in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ (Stephenville Festival); ‘Strange Humours’ (Eastern Front Theatre); Titus in ‘The Devil’s Diciple’ (Neptune Theatre); ‘Merlin'(Halifax Theatre for Young People); Kemp in ‘Vigil’ (Live Bait Theatre); and as twins Edger and Ledger in ‘Ivor Johnson’s Neighbours’ (Ship’s Company Theatre). He has appeared in three season at the Stratford Festival, in such roles as Simon in ‘Mother’s Daughter’, Paris in ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Black Dog in ‘Treasure Island’, Egeon in ‘The Comedy of Errors’ and Ezekiel Cheever in ‘ The Crucible’. Gordon appeared as Edger in ‘King Lear’ at the National Arts Centre, with August Schellenberg, directed by Peter Hinton. Tv and film credits include: Haven, Black Harbour, Mr. D, New Waterford Girl, Blackfly, Rollertown, Charlie Zone, and Picnicface.

Watermark Theatre’s Mandate
Located in North Rustico, PEI, on land that is the traditional unceded territory of the Mi’Kmaq, the Watermark Theatre is a professional theatre company that produces time-honoured plays, as well as contemporary plays that resonate with our times.
As a company we are led by the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility and commit to incorporating these core values in everything we do.
We prioritize environmental stewardship and sustainability.
The Watermark Theatre is dedicated to the development of the next generation of theatre artists and arts administrators through mentorship and professional training.
In all of our programming we strive for artistic excellence while endeavouring to inform, affect, and engage our audience and our community.

For more information please contact Lara Dias at 902-963-3963 or admin@watermarktheatre.com

Theatre PEI

28660348_162333201093170_735205771249634989_n