The Confederation Centre of the Arts
Located in the heart of Charlottetown, The Confederation Centre of the Arts is a national living memorial complex to the Fathers of Confederation monument to arts and culture & the biggest and best-known for live theatre in Prince Edward Island. The newly improved theatre expanded this year to 1100 new seats, 2 new aisles, new acoustic and lighting tech, catwalks and more! (biggest reno in the history of the Centre) It is the home of the Charlottetown Festival and features the world’s longest running annual musical (GUINNESS) “Anne of Green Gables The Musical“ every summer!
Not only is can you find year-round live entertainment here, there is also an impressive art gallery, fine cuisine at Mavors Bistro, and a gift shop with all sorts of neat little items. The Confederation Players Walking Tours can take you back to the days of the founding fathers of Confederation. For the ultimate theatre experience on PEI, this is the place to be. This summers line up includes…
The Charlottetown Festival is a celebration of Canadian performing arts, held annually in the heart of Prince Edward Island’s capital city. Actors, dancers and musicians come from across Canada to show off their talents in musical theatre productions from about June to October. There are four stages operated by Confederation Centre of the Arts: the newly renovated showpiece Homburg Theatre with 1100 seats and state-of-the-art production facilities – and the home of Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™ since it opened in 1965; The Mack, a 200-seat theatre known for its intimate atmosphere and festive productions; the 100-seat Studio Theatre where newer, or smaller productions are mounted; and the outdoor amphitheatre where each year Confederation Centre’s Young Company presents a rousing, free performance celebrating Canadian culture. Canada’s top singers and dancers are attracted to PEI each season to take part in the theatre festival that celebrates the country’s stories and culture with live music, lively dancing and inspiring performances.
June 1, 2016 – September 3, 2016 1:30 pm/ 8 pm Tickets starting at $25 Plays select dates @The Homburg Theatre
In 2016 The Charlottetown Festival is throwing a party complete with dance music and glittery costumes. Over 60 million people have fallen in love with the characters, story, and undeniably catchy music that make Mamma Mia! the ultimate feel-good musical.
This sunny tale unfolds on a Greek island paradise where on the eve of her wedding, a daughter’s quest to find her father brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island. The magic of everlasting ABBA hits such as ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Take a Chance on Me’ propels this enchanting tale of love, laughter, and friendship into a trip down the aisle you’ll never forget.
Mamma Mia! by the numbers!
- 60 million people around the world have seen the musical
- There are currently more productions of MAMMA MIA! playing than any other musical
- Each night, around the world, 17,000 people see ABBA’s music come to life
- Mamma Mia! has grossed $2 billion worldwide since its 1999 debut, the fourth highest grossing musical of all time
- Mamma Mia! played 5,773 performances on Broadway before closing in 2015
- To date, ABBA has sold over 350 million recordings worldwide
Thank you for the music! – Let’s admit it, even if you are feeling grumpy, a small dose of ABBA music will bring the smiles back. In 1999, British playwright Catherine Johnson had the genius to develop a juke box musical based on the happy-go-lucky tunes from the large and popular ABBA collection. She may not have realized at the time that she was setting in motion a musical that would set box office records and continue its huge success on stage 15 years later! Johnson worked with former ABBA members Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, and the musical remarkably weaves an entertaining story around ABBA’s 1970s pop hits. What are those hits? To name a few: Honey Honey; Money, Money, Money; I Have a Dream; Take a Chance on Me; Super Trouper; Dancing Queen – we’ll just leave you now to dance and hum your way to the box office!
Credits: Music & Lyrics by BENNY ANDERSSON & BJÖRN ULVAEUS/ And some songs with Stig Anderson/ Book by Catherine Johnson
June 29, 2016 – August 27, 2016 1:30 pm / 7:30 pm @ The Homburg Theatre
‘Longest running annual musical theatre production’ – GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS
Now in its Guinness Record-setting 52nd season, the original Anne musical is a Canadian classic in every sense of the word. Based on L.M. Montgomery’s beloved novel, the musical adaptation of the story of an imaginative red-haired orphan searching for belonging is guaranteed to tug at heartstrings and tickle funny bones. The tradition continues this summer with PEI’s own Jessica Gallant as Anne Shirley, alongside a live orchestra and a thrilling cast of 23 Canadian triple threats.
This simple story has touched the hearts of readers around the world, and the novel has sold more than 50 million copies. Young ladies in Japan, Polish soldiers in World War II, students in the Bronx, and scholars in Sweden have all been charmed by this impetuous orphan. The story has been translated into more than 20 languages and adapted into feature films and highly successful made-for-TV movies. And, since 1965, Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™ has been delighting audiences at Confederation Centre’s Charlottetown Festival. While the musical has as its solid base a character loved the world round, creators Norman and Elaine Campbell, Don Harron, and Mavor Moore have achieved a magical expression of that mischievous energy, the humour and angst present in everyday trials and tribulations, and above all, the power of human emotion that Montgomery delivered beautifully in her touching tale.
This musical has toured across Canada and to Tokyo, New York and London’s West End – quite a stretch for an 11-year old with red braids! The strength of the story only partly explains the success however; critics in major theatre cities lauded the show and perhaps Reuters defined it best in 1974: “Anne wins ten curtain calls…a refreshing breeze of charm and sentiment.” Neither Montgomery, nor the musical’s creators ever let the sweet side of the story override Anne’s zest for life, determination, and sense of humour.
The Charlottetown Festival has mounted more than 2,500 performances of Anne of Green Gables – The Musical™ at Confederation Centre up to the end of the 2013 season, and it is estimated that more than 2.3 million people have seen the show.
SPECIAL VIP PACKAGE – $79 includes best seats in the house, and $10 Merchandise voucher
July 6, 2016 – August 20, 2016 2 pm / 7:30 pm @ The Mack
In 2015, Spoon River (produced by Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto) won Canada’s prestigious Dora Award for Outstanding New Musical. Now in 2016 Spoon River makes its first appearance outside Toronto, at Confederation Centre’s Mack theatre in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. The musical is based on the classic Spoon River Anthology, written 100 years ago by Edgar Lee Masters. In this rendition, poems of the dead are brought to life and set to music by PEI’s own Mike Ross. Albert Schultz directs the 11-member cast, as they raise their voices in song, telling of loves, losses, and hard-earned truths. The Charlottetown Festival produced this mystical, dream-like musical in association with Soulpepper Theatre.
Produced by The Charlottetown Festival in assocication with Soulpepper Theatre Company
The Story – Spoon River is an imaginary small town in author Edgar Lee Masters’ home state of Illinois. The 244-poem anthology of the same name was published in 1915, and in it the characters return from the grave long enough to impart their virtual epitaphs, in their own words and music. As is so often the case with lasting and popular literature, the stories celebrate the extraordinary to be found in ordinary lives. To quote Richard Ouzounian of The Toronto Star, the musical is “so blindingly original that it’s hard to describe in terms of conventional song and dance…. There is hope and despair, love and hate, passion and desperation.” For more in-depth discussion of the production, listen to CBC’s The Sunday Edition.
The Music – Mike Ross, Spoon River composer, was born in Charlottetown, P.E.I. and raised in New Jersey, but he returned to the Maritimes in his early twenties to become a musician. After winning two East Coast Music Awards, his career took an unexpected turn. In Mike’s words: “There’s a big theatre festival in Charlottetown where they do ‘Anne of Green Gables’ and shows like that in the summer. This particular season they were doing a musical named ‘Fire’, loosely based on the life of Jerry Lee Lewis. They needed an actor who could play piano; I was an unemployed musician at the time so I tried out for it and got the job.” (BlogTO) The show’s great success inspired Ross to move to Toronto where he has realized his own personal success, most recently as composer and musical director of the acclaimed Spoon River. According to the critics “Ross’s musical settings are brilliant, and stylistically varied…”(National Post) “The kind of music that gets inside your body and just doesn’t let go. And there might also be the kind of hand-clapping, arm-waving, spirit-stirring movement that you’ll find hard to ignore.” (Toronto Star) Who can resist inspiring lines like this: “The light of life, the sun of delight, All is yours young passerby. Is your soul alive? Then let it feed.” It may be a show starring characters from the grave but the songs and stories celebrate “Oh life, oh life, oh beauty, oh life”
Tuesday, Thursday, & Friday – July 15, 2016 – August 26, 2016 1:30 pm @ Studio 1
Songs, Stories & Soup! Take an iconic PEI actress, add some stories of the land and sea, songs of the people, stir in the spirit of the Island with some fresh local ingrediencts and voila; Island seafood chowder!
Join Glenda Landry and the Charlottetown Festival Orchestra as they lead you around the province, collecting stories and songs about the people, the traditions, and the food! Step into Studio 1 for a taste of the Island, literally and culturally!
July 1, 2016 – August 20, 2016
History comes alive when you stroll down Charlottetown’s historic district with the Confederation Players- a troupe of costumed, young, bilingual Canadians, trained as the Fathers and Ladies of Confederation. Join the Players for a guided walking tour or attend their historic vignette outside Province House – the site of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference. Through their portrayal of key figures such as Sir John A. Macdonald, George Coles, and Sir George-Étienne Cartier, the Confederation Players provide a glimpse into the cultural and historical context of the Charlottetown Conference.
New this year is The Story of Confederation program, an exciting new Parks Canada/Confederation Centre initiative that includes the new Historic Queen Square Walking Tour, a replica exhibit of Province House’s Confederation Chamber (found in Confederation Centre’s Upper Foyer), and a new interactive kiosk offering Festival tickets, a new Parks Canada Explora app, Centre information, and more.
The Confederation Players’ Historic Vignette (Mon-Saturday, Richmond Street side of Province House at 1 p.m.) – Join John A. Macdonald, Miss Mercy Coles, Colonel John Hamilton Gray, George-Étienne Cartier, and members of the Slaymaker and Nichols’ Olympic Circus on the steps of Province House National Historic Site in this 15-minute historical reenactment, exploring the personalities and politics of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference on Confederation. Get swept up in the action and join the Players afterwards for a photo or in-character discussion surrounding ‘the Magnificent Scheme’ – uniting the colonies of British North America into a bold new country.
Schedule for Walking Tours
- 10:00am-11:00am – Tuesday–Saturday – Historic Great George Tour
- 11:00am-11:45am – Friday-Saturday – La place historique Queen
- 2:00pm-3:00pm – Wednesday–Saturday – Visite guide de la rue Great George
- 2:30pm-3:15pm – Tuesday–Saturday – Queen Square Tour
- 3:30pm-4:30pm – Tuesday–Saturday – Great George Tour
Walking tours depart from the Visitor Information Centre at 178 Water Street and the 1864 sculpture on Queen Square. Tours range from 45 minutes to 1 hour in length. Gratuities are graciously accepted.
The Great George Street Tour – (*Available at select times in French and English, Monday to Saturday. Visit box office for more.) Relive the past on one of Canada’s most famous streets, where every building and street corner has a story to tell, where you might just bump into a Victorian statesman or John Hatch, the town crier . This classic Charlottetown tour guides visitors down one of only two national historic streets in the country- the very walk that the founding fathers strolled in 1864.
The Historic Queen Square Tour: – (*Available at select times in French and English, Thursday to Saturday.) A new tour exploring the origins of the central public square in Old Charlottetown, once home to the Charlottetown Marketplace, and now the site of two national historic sites, Province House and Confederation Centre of the Arts. This 45-minute guided walk also includes tour stops at Samuel Holland’s 1765-era 13-foot map of PEI in the art gallery and the stunning replica of Confederation Chamber in the Centre’s Upper Foyer, and concludes with a charming historical vignette from two Confederation Players.
Private Bookings – For individual walking tour bookings, please contact our Box Office toll-free at 1-800-565-0278. For private group (20 or more) walking tour bookings, special appearances at your event or conference, please contact Adam Gauthier at (902) 629-1150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
July 1, 2016 – August 20, 2016. Monday to Saturday at noon. Free admission
Through song and dance, the Young Company presents The Voices of Canada, a 50-minute exploration of Canada’s rich cultural mosaic and heritage.
Some of the brightest emerging performers from across Canada present this high-energy celebration, weaving song, dance and legend into a stunning kaleidoscope of movement and colour.
See below for map…