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November 9, 2005
For immediate release

Five Days in February - The 2006 East Coast Music Awards and Conference Come to Charlottetown, PEI!

Community and Cultural Affairs

ECMA 2006, the hottest party of the year, will hit the streets of Charlottetown over five days and nights from Thursday, February 23 to Monday, February 27.

Representatives from the Government of Canada and the Province of Prince Edward Island, along with the host City of Charlottetown, joined the 2006 ECMA PEI Event Committee to announce funding support for the upcoming awards and conference.

“The ECMAs showcase our East Coast talent, culture and artists to the world – and the host city benefits from a huge financial boost in the process,” says the Honourable Shawn Murphy, Member of Parliament for Charlottetown on behalf of the Government of Canada. “ACOA and Service Canada are pleased to support this awards show and conference, which continues to grow in stature and economic impact each year.”

ECMA 2006 is shaping up to be a jam-packed event. There will be more than 400 artists taking the stage, performing in showcases, a concert series, the Songwriters' Circle, the Yamaha 72-Hour Jam, the Soundwaves school program and so much more. More than 2,000 delegates will attend the industry conference, which features an Industry Awards Brunch. Tickets for all events will be available in early December, when the showcase and concert series line-ups are announced.

“Throughout Atlantic Canada, artists view the ECMAs as the most significant opportunity to showcase their talents and build their careers,” says Premier Pat Binns. “The entire province can benefit from hosting a successful ECMA event. Through Community and Cultural Affairs, Tourism and Development and Technology, departments which all have a stake in the success of the music industry, the province is pleased to support the 2006 East Coast Music Awards in Charlottetown.”

One exciting change in 2006 is the nationally-televised Gala Awards Show, which will be broadcast on CBC Television on MONDAY night - a shift from its traditional Sunday night time slot. This means one more day of great East Coast Music.

"It is with great pleasure that I confirm the City of Charlottetown will be a $50,000 funding partner of the 2006 ECMAs. Charlottetown is recognized as a premiere event destination with a rich musical history, strong volunteer base, and is well-positioned to offer the finest experience and hospitality to both members and fans of the East Coast Music Association. As was the case with the 1996 and 2001 East Coast Music Awards, which were held in Charlottetown, the entire community will embrace the off-season February event, which has a tremendous economic injection," notes Clifford Lee, Mayor of Charlottetown.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) will provide a non-repayable contribution of $250,000 through the Business Development Program towards the industry conference and marketing activities associated with the event. The Canada/Prince Edward Island Labour Market Development Agreement, co-managed by Service Canada and the provincial Department of Development and Technology, will provide an additional $154,251 for participant benefits and overhead costs. The Province of PEI will contribute $100,000 and the City of Charlottetown will provide an additional $50,000.

"The ECMAs are now one of the largest cultural events in Atlantic Canada and are expected to bring in economic benefits of $3 -$5 million to the Island,” says Campbell Webster, PEI ECMA 2006 Event Committee Chair. “All levels of government have been tremendously supportive of this year's event in Charlottetown. ECMA simply wouldn't be possible without such generous and ongoing support. Together we're building a vibrant East Coast Music industry".

The ECMAs will take place in Charlottetown, P.E.I., February 23-27, and will culminate in the ECMA Awards Gala Show, broadcast live on CBC Television, on Monday night, February 27 at 8 pm in all time zones (8:30 NT).

Media Contact: Jennifer MacLeod
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