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December 9, 2003
For immediate release

Funding Announced to Establish PEI Folk Music Interpretive Centre in Tyne Valley

Development and Technology

A new cultural centre dedicated to the preservation and promotion of Island folk music and musicians will become a reality as announced today by Joe McGuire, Member of Parliament for Egmont; Phillip Brown, Minister of Tourism and MLA for Cascumpec-Grand River; and Myles Ellis, Chair of the Board of the PEI Folk Music Centre.

The PEI Folk Music Interpretive Centre, to be housed in the to-be-refurbished Forbes home in Tyne Valley, will interpret the traditional music of the Island through display, instruction and performance. The Centre will encompass all the musical traditions present on PEI, including Scottish Gaelic, Mik’Maq, Irish, Acadian, and British, as well as profiling home-grown musicians.

“This is a tremendous development for Tyne Valley and the East Prince area,” said Mr. McGuire, on behalf of the Honourable Gerry Byrne, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. “This centre will not only enhance the arts community and the cultural environment of this region, but it will also provide a strong, new tourist attraction for Prince Edward Island. Tyne Valley is a gem of a town just waiting to be discovered by our many visitors, and this Centre will be an important catalyst in this region’s future growth.”

The PEI Folk Music Centre as envisioned will have a strong emphasis on contemporary song writing and will provide educational opportunities for the songwriters and composers of tomorrow, which would include a wide variety of workshops over the summer months and during the Christmas and spring breaks. The Centre will feature permanent, interactive displays as well as incorporating travelling displays, so that museums throughout Atlantic Canada may benefit and contribute to the content of the centre.

“PEI’s musical heritage is rich and internationally appreciated. This Centre will offer a variety of events and facilities designed to appeal to a wide audience,” noted Minister Brown, on behalf of the Honourable Michael Currie, Minister of Development and Technology. “This facility will provide an important economic boost to the Tyne Valley area, providing additional employment and generating revenue through increased levels of tourists to the area.”

The PEI Folk Music Centre will include interpretation, retail developments, workshops, archive space, performance area, and offices. A capital improvement plan has been completed but further architectural design work will have to be completed before construction can begin.

“Once completed, this new Centre will be a popular destination for our many visitors and for Islanders themselves, and it will help a great deal in ensuring the preservation of our musical heritage and traditions,” noted Mr. Ellis. “By offering an enriching and entertaining experience, we will be providing more great reasons for people to visit western Prince Edward Island which, ultimately, is great news for the people of Tyne Valley.”

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is providing $800,000 through its Strategic Community Investment Fund (SCIF) toward the projects costs. The Province of Prince Edward Island is providing $200,000 over two years.

SCIF provides $135 million over five years to help communities in Atlantic Canada create an environment that encourages the development of strategic sectors such as tourism. The fund is a component of the Atlantic Investment Partnership (AIP), a five-year Government of Canada initiative designed to help Atlantic Canadians compete in the global, knowledge-based economy.

Media Contact: Ann Thurlow
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