Tag Archives: Steve Bellamy

Thank You For Your Support

Last year was unprecedented and this year was unpredictable. The future is still so uncertain, but, with you alongside us, we are committed in our recovery to bring theatre, music, dance, visual arts, and arts education to you. 

You helped us produce and present multidisciplinary programming in our gallery and on our stages, provide vital arts education programs to the next generation of visual and performing artists, and celebrate learning through our evolving Confederation Players Program and the Symons Medal Lecture. 

Here are some highlights of 2021, made possible with your support. 

Our theatre doors opened in February for the first time in over a year to a sold-out show titled Lovers’ Lament: A Vaccine for Relationships, just in time for Valentine’s Day.

In May, we launched a new theatre training program, involving 30 students and 10 teachers to train the next generation of skilled theatre employees in wardrobe, props, lighting, video, carpentry, and audio.

In June, the 2021 Charlottetown Festival returned to our mainstage with three shows: Between Breaths, Dear Rita, a world premiere, and Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story. In the amphitheatre, two unique and inspirational shows were presented: Street Fusion and The Voices of Resilience.

Confederation Centre Art Gallery presented two major exhibitions: Two Thumbs Up (Arts and Crafts) from award-winning Quebec-based artist collective BGL; and A Life’s Work: Canadian Artist Robert Harris (1849-1919), which provided visitors with an overview of Harris’ prolific career.

The 2021 Symons Medal was presented in October to the Honourable Louise Arbour, CC, GOQ with a lecture titled DESIDERANTES MELIOREM PATRIAM, or “They Desire a Better Country”, focusing on the transformation of Canadian society through immigration, the pandemic, and law.

Holiday classic The Nutcracker, performed by dance umbrella, returned in December for the first time in ten years. 
As the year comes to a close, the challenges that it has brought have taught us so much. As a supporter, you are vital to the success of all that we do, and you are part of an extraordinary community dedicated to making a meaningful impact in PEI and across Canada through the arts.

With you standing alongside us, we are committed to finding new ways to connect you with the arts, continue arts education for children and youth, provide accessible and free arts programming, and inspire and engage all Canadians through visual and performing arts.

I look forward to seeing you next year in which will be one of the most highly anticipated and exciting years at the Centre. 

Thank you, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.  
Steve Bellamy    CEO, Confederation Centre of the Arts

Theatre PEI


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


Advocating for the Arts

Confederation Centre Welcomes New Director of Philanthropy

-Haddad assumes director position following fundraising roles with Toronto Symphony Orchestra, National Ballet, and Toronto Arts Foundation-

(Charlottetown, P.E.I) – CEO Steve Bellamy and Confederation Centre of the Arts are pleased to welcome Nadine Haddad to the Senior Management group as the Centre’s director of philanthropy. Nadine had dad

“We are thrilled to welcome Nadine to Confederation Centre and back to the Island,” says Bellamy. “On behalf of all staff and our board of directors, we wish her every success as she begins this leadership role and a new stage of her career.”

After completing her undergraduate in music at the University of Prince Edward Island, Haddad continued her education in Arts Management at Western University. 

“The combination of these two educational streams led me to pursue a gratifying career as a professional in fundraising, marketing, and events,” she offers. “I look forward to being an advocate and promoter for the Centre and for the arts on P.E.I.”

Haddad grew up in Charlottetown and was previously a member of the Confederation Centre Young Company, a Front of House usher, and a summer volunteer at the Centre.

Theatre PEI


Charlottetown Festival 2020 is Cancelled


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


PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Raising the Curtain

Confederation Centre Raises the Curtain on New Membership Program

“Get Centre’d” offers members a suite of benefits, including advance tickets and access to exclusive events—all in support of non-profit arts centre


With a new season comes new opportunity and Confederation Centre of the Arts is unveiling a can’t-miss community program. Launching October 2019, Get Centre’d is the Centre’s new patron membership campaign.

Founded as a living monument to Confederation, the Centre is Canada’s hub for learning, through the lens of the arts, about how the nation was formed and how its identity continues to evolve.

“Generations of visitors have had their lives enhanced through visual and performing arts, education, and heritage programs at the Centre,” remark Board Chair Robert Sear and CEO Steve Bellamy in a shared statement. “However, some do not know that the Centre is a registered charity and a non-profit organization. We invite everyone—from our long-standing supporters to those who might be stepping in for the first time—to engage with their Centre and aid us in continuing the important experiences that we offer more than 250,000 Canadians each year.”

Built on the long-standing generosity of recurring donors and patrons, the Get Centre’d campaign presents the chance to support the Centre and enhance one’s experiences there. These donations ensure that Centre members are the first to enjoy the organization’s many benefits

Debbie and Keith Panton have been members since 2017. “Our eldest son is in choral music and dance programs here and our youngest spent the past two seasons as a Child of Avonlea in Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™,” says Debbie. “The Centre is one of our favourite places to be together and we are richer for our experiences.

Nindiya Sharma—member since 2014—feels the Centre is a first-rate organization as well as community hub in a small place. “The Centre is a great place for emerging and establishing artists to showcase their talents year-round.”

Whether an existing member or joining for the first time, Get Centre’d members are granted a suite of benefits. Depending on membership level, these can include:

·         Advance notice and ticket access for performances with Sobeys LIVE @ the Centre and The Charlottetown Festival;

·         Waiving of ticket service charges and access to premium Row-A seating;

·         Access to private tours and events (i.e. the on-stage Holiday Reception)

·         Exclusive sales and offers for theatre, gallery, shopping, and dining at the Centre

·         Invitation to meet-the-artist and behind-the-scenes events (i.e. select Festival rehearsals)

For Fred Hyndman—member since 1980—seeing his support directed towards the Art Gallery, where his endowment gifts are allocated, is what’s most enjoyable. “I am passionate about the Robert Harris collection that the Gallery looks after. I believe it is one of the most important anthologies of Canadian art.”

For E. Anne Smith­—member since 1990—she appreciates the access that membership offers for gatherings and receptions. “I so enjoy the opening nights and special events at the Centre! Everyone dressed up and having a good time—I just love the excitement of those nights; it’s a fantastic place to celebrate.”

To become a member today, please visit https://confederationcentre.com/support/membership/ or contact the Membership Office at members@confederationcentre.com or 902.628.6137.

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.

PEI Professional Theatre Network


PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Hamlet Hits the Road

Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical to Embark on World Tour

Rights for The Charlottetown Festival-made musical acquired for stages across Canada, Australia, U.K. and more;

Final four more performances remain at Confederation Centre


Confederation Centre of the Arts is excited to learn that David Carver Music has acquired the world-wide touring rights to the acclaimed Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical. The masterful stage musical balances high energy vocal and dance performances and rousing power ballads with songs reaching into the darker emotions of Shakespeare’s Hamlet.

This Saturday July 20, Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical wraps up a successful three week run in Charlottetown, P.E.I. “We are not surprised David Carver Music has picked up this show to go on tour,” says Confederation Centre CEO, Steve Bellamy. “The music is powerful and audiences have absolutely loved it during its run at The Charlottetown Festival. Confederation Centre of the Arts is thrilled that more people will be able to experience this exciting show in Canada and around the world!”

With a bright future ahead, Confederation Centre invites the public to come and celebrate this home-grown musical one last time before it prepares for audiences across the globe. The production, sponsored by SYSCO Food Services, is on stage now in the Homburg Theatre, with select dates and tickets still available. See full calendar and ticket info here. The title sponsor of The Charlottetown Festival is CIBC.

Audiences and critics alike have lauded the epic production, with extensive media attention drawn nationally from The Globe and Mail, National Post, Broadway World, the flagship CBC Radio program q, and the Canadian Press.

For over 30 years, David Carver Music (DCM) has been producing major concert tours with some of the biggest names in music, including Tom Petty, Aerosmith, Sheryl Crow, Bon Jovi, Bob Dylan, Bryan Adams, Brooks and Dunn, Bob Seger, and many more.

DCM’s 2020 tour is planned to visit theatres in Canada, Australia, the U.K., and the U.S. Complete tour dates and production information for this version of the production—dubbed Hamlet: The Rock Musical–will be announced in the months ahead from DCM.

Created by Cliff Jones, Kronborg—The Hamlet Rock Musical first debuted at The Charlottetown Festival in 1974. The rock musical went on to take the nation by storm in the 1970’s and later became the first Canadian musical to play on Broadway, and later Los Angeles. In 2019, Kronborg returned, reimagined and re-orchestrated by Director Mary Francis Moore and Musical Director Craig Fair.

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.

PEI Professional Theatre Network


PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and the Victoria Playhouse

Feds Support the Arts

Federal Budget 2019 supports Live Concerts and Arts Presenters across Canada

Confederation Centre of the Arts (CCOA) is pleased to learn the Government of Canada has announced an increase to the Canada Arts Presentation Fund (CAPF) of $16-million over two years. This strategic investment helps festivals and presenters across the country showcase Canadian productions domestically.


Steve Bellamy, CEO for Confederation Centre of the Arts says, “Support for the domestic performing arts market is critical to the success of Canada’s world-class artists. This wise investment complements the national strategies for arts production and export, making it possible to showcase Canada’s rich diversity of culture and heritage which benefits audiences from coast to coast to coast.”

CCOA is a proud member of the Canadian Arts Coalition (CAC), which is a collaborative non-partisan movement spearheaded by a group of national arts service and membership organizations. CAC has spent the past year advocating for an increase to the CAPF fund, including an enormous effort of more than 100 sector representatives at “Arts Day on the Hill” in October, 2018.

Confederation Centre of the Arts congratulates CAC Co-Chairs Frédéric Julien and Kate Cornell and all cultural sector allies for the many presentations to government, including to the Honourable Pablo Rodriguez, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism, the Honourable Bill Morneau, Minister of Finance, and to the Standing Committee on Finance of the House of Commons. We thank Ministers Rodriguez and Morneau for recognizing the value of the performing arts sector to all Canadians, and for providing the conditions necessary to support Canadian artists at home and abroad.

Confederation Centre of the Arts (CCOA) provides Canadians and visitors with an opportunity to experience multiple cultures, histories, stories, and contexts of Canada’s origins and evolution. CCOA engages through visual arts exhibitions, theatrical performances, music, dance, education, and heritage programming.

PEI Professional Theatre Network


PEI Theatre is the Guild, Harbourfront Theatre,
Confederation Centre for the Arts,
Watermark Theatre, and Victoria Playhouse

A New Look at Green Gables

As part of efforts to be a more accessible space, Confederation Centre of the Arts is pleased to announce that it will be presenting two Relaxed Performances at The Charlottetown Festival this summer.


With the support of the Autism Society of Prince Edward Island, the Centre is working with its Festival production team to make two selected performances of Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™ more accessible.

Sometimes referred to as sensory-friendly experiences, this initiative gives the opportunity for those with various sensitivities towards sensory stimuli to experience and enjoy live theatre. The Centre also recently conducted an accessibility audit, with input from Autism P.E.I. and some of its members.

“Providing relaxed performances is one of the ways Confederation Centre is being more inclusive,” offers Steve Bellamy, CEO of the Centre. “Not everyone experiences visual and auditory stimuli or public spaces the same way. With a few adjustments to the intensity of light, sound, and theatre protocols, we can ensure that even more people have the opportunity to comfortably share in the experience of this iconic story.”

These performances, offered on Monday July 8 and Monday August 19, will be designed in a way to be more comfortable for audience members who may experience anxiety or are not comfortable with some aspects of a traditional theatre setting. This can include: people on the Autism Spectrum and their families; those with sensory and communicative disorders or learning disabilities; people with Tourette’s syndrome; someone who might need to move often due to chronic pain or to use the facilities; or even parents with toddlers.

Patrons will be able to move about the theatre more than usual, as well as leave the theatre at any time should they require a break (and re-enter if they feel ready to do so);

A special ‘calm zone’ will be set up as an option for patrons to head to relax in mid-performance, away from the busy lobby or theatre;

Noises and talking will also be allowed in the house – patrons should not expect a silent audience experience, and;

The use of support technology (tablets and phones) will be relaxed as well.

A special trial run of a relaxed performance will be offered for patrons and patron’s family members to explore if this theatre experience is a good for them. Prospective patrons, family members, or other interested parties can send questions to Sarah Denman-Wood at the Centre, at sdw@confederationcentre.com or (902) 629-1175.

In September, Confederation Centre of the Arts hosted a three day training course in Relaxed Performance, alongside fellow representatives from Autism P.E.I., Neptune Theatre, the Victoria Playhouse, and more. This training session was led by the British Council, the United Kingdom’s international organization for cultural relations and educational opportunities, who has led these sessions for arts centres everywhere.

The Guild, Watermark Theatre, Harbourfront Theatre, Confederation Centre for the Arts, and Victoria Theatre.


Get Out of Town

The Imperial Cities Tour: Experience Breathtaking Group Travel In Support of the Arts

CEO Steve Bellamy, CAA, and more to host travel night presentation Wednesday, January 30

With a new year comes new opportunities and in that spirit, Confederation Centre of the Arts is launching a truly distinctive experience for members of its “Founders Circle” — the chance to join an exclusive 11-day cultural adventure to the Imperial Cities: Prague, Vienna, and Budapest.


With proceeds going to support arts and heritage programming  at the Centre, this grand group travel tour comes at the request of the Founders’ Circle membership. Taking place from October 21 to 31, 2019, this trip will be organized by partners at CAA Member Choice Vacations, with flights leaving from Charlottetown. CAA are the production sponsor for the Centre’s crown jewel, Anne of Green Gables—The Musical™.

Hosted by Founders’ Circle Members John Steinsky, the Honorary Consul of the Czech Republic, and Brenda Steinsky, this thrilling expedition will include castle tours, guided excursions, a classical music performance, and a cruise down the Danube River.

“Our membership has been asking for a group travel experience and we have listened,” remarks Steve Bellamy, CEO of Confederation Centre. “We are thankful to the Steinskys for their hospitality and to our members for their commitment to supporting arts and heritage programming at the Centre. This promises to be an unforgettable tour of the Imperial Cities and the Steinskys are already going above and beyond building the itinerary.”

The tour will also include a Renaissance-style dinner in a medieval castle near Budapest and a stop at the Lobkowicz Palace, home to the largest art collection in the Czech Republic, spanning over 600 years of family history. Other highlights consist of wine-sampling and dinner in the picturesque Grinzing region, and striking countryside views and cultural outings in each of the three famed cities.

CAA, the Steinskys, and Bellamy will host a travel presentation night on Wednesday, January 30 at 7 p.m. in the cozy confines of the Confederation Centre Art Gallery. Shane Coupland with CAA Member Choice Vacations will guide interested members through all the details, from booking to passports to currency and take any questions. The Centre’s culinary team will also offer a sampling of European cuisine from the Imperial Cities.  Come and learn more about the experience, the hosts, and how to join group travel to one of the most spectacular destinations in the world.

Prospective travelers and Founders’ Circle members can RSVP or send questions to Ellen Theuerkauf, atetheuerkauf@confederationcentre.com or (902) 629-1159. For more information on the Founders Circle, visit confederationcentre.com/support/membership/

Bound for Calgary


The TD Confederation Centre Young Company is hitting the road again. After a busy 2017 season that saw two troupes crisscross the country, the 2018 company has been invited to perform at the Future of Child Welfare in Canada: National Child Welfare Conference 2018, October 23 to 26 in Calgary, Alberta.

The conference is a Canadian first that brings together the Provincial and Territorial Directors of Child Welfare with the Annual Prairie Child Welfare Consortium conference, and the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Social Work. A central theme is the need to address child welfare within an Indigenous context and to consider ways to move forward in light of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission recommendations. It is estimated that nearly half of Canadian children in foster care, under the age of 14 are Indigenous, and that, overall, Indigenous children comprise 30 to 40 percent of children in care.

Thanks to the generous support of Indigenous Services Canada, Confederation Centre is bringing 11 company members to Calgary, all of whom appeared in The Charlottetown Festival production of Aqsarniit (“awe-saw-nee”) this summer. These young artists come from across Canada and will be performing excerpts from Aqsarniit, the Inuktitut word used to describe the northern lights. This high-energy musical re-examines Canada’s past through the varied lenses of today’s youth and shares some of the stories they hope will be told in the future.

“Confederation Centre is at the forefront of engaging in a national dialogue and this event is reflective of the art we are creating at the Festival and the Centre,” says Mary Francis Moore, associate artistic director of The Charlottetown Festival. “It is an honour to be invited.”

The Young Company will have the opportunity to perform for an audience of stakeholders from every province and territory. The troupe will appear as part of the opening keynote address and just before the closing keynote from Senator Murray Sinclair, former chairman of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. During the opening keynote, the troupe will perform excerpts from Aqsarniit and also participate in an audience Q+A with company members discussing what they wish to see for Canada’s future.

 “We are continuously proud of the work of our emerging artists and creative team with the Young Company,” says Steve Bellamy, CEO of Confederation Centre. “The National Child Welfare Conference is an important new initiative and we are humbled that our musical production, which speaks to the realities of Canadian history and this country’s efforts towards Truth and Reconciliation, can contribute to these proceedings in such a meaningful way.”

For more on this inspiring conference, visit their website. The 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. Program sponsor for the Young Company is TD.