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January 8, 2010
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PEI Set to Capture International Attention at Canada’s Games in February
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Prince Edward Island (PEI) is excited to join the rest of the world to showcase Canada’s smallest province on an international stage at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, says Premier Robert Ghiz.
“This is the first time in over two decades that PEI has been able to capitalize on the Olympic opportunity,” said Premier Ghiz. “In addition to PEI’s two-week presence at Atlantic Canada House during the Olympics, beginning on February 17 and 18, we get to promote the province to the world as we host PEI Days. Our Island’s culture, tourism, talent, culinary, business and hospitality will be showcased to visitors and media worldwide.”
PEI artists featured at Atlantic Canada House include: Catherine MacLellan, Chuck & Albert, In-Flight Safety, John Connolly, Lennie Gallant, Meaghan Blanchard, Paper Lions, Rose Cousins, Richard Wood, Gordon Belsher, Brad Fremlin, Tim Chaisson and Morning Fold, The Grass Mountain Hobos, Two Hour Traffic, Vishten, and the Confederation Centre Young Company.
“Bringing the Confederation Centre Young Company to the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and Atlantic Canada House is a once-in-a-life-time opportunity for these talented young performers,” says Wade Lynch, director and co-creator of the Young Company production and associate artistic director of The Charlottetown Festival. “What an amazing experience for them to be in the international limelight. They will all do a terrific job representing Prince Edward Island and Canada. We know they will do all Islanders proud.”
Culinary is an important component and one that will be featured at Atlantic Canada House. During the two weeks Atlantic Canada House is in operation, most menus will be pan-Atlantic in nature; however during PEI Day, February 18, specific recipes and products from PEI will be featured.
“The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics will be our largest international audience,” said Kevin Boyce, Chef Instructor at the Culinary Institute of Canada and the Culinary Project Manager for Atlantic Canada House. I am extremely honoured and proud to be representing Prince Edward Island in this endeavor, and my hopes are that we can leave a lasting impression for all visitors of Atlantic Canada House.”
Atlantic Canada House is a pan-Atlantic partnership comprised of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the four provincial governments. PEI looks forward to showcasing PEI’s culinary delights, culture, tourism, talent, business and hospitality at the largest sporting event in the world.
ATLANTIC CANADA HOUSE - PEI ARTISTS
Matching pure and ethereal vocals with poetic lyrics and her uncompromising songwriting craft, there is no doubt as to why Catherine MacLellan has become known as one of the most celebrated new singer/songwriters in Canada, and around the world, by her contemporaries and media alike. Voted “Critics Favourite New Discovery” by Penguin Eggs Magazine in 2008 and Solo Artist Of The Year at the 2009 Canadian Folk Music Awards, Catherine has quickly built up a loyal fan base and has been a hit with critics worldwide. Her last album, Church Bell Blues, hit #1 on the iTunes Canada Roots charts and received critical acclaim and comparisons to Joni Mitchell from international magazines.
Chuck & Albert:
Canadian Comedy Award and East Coast Music Award nominees, Chuck & Albert are no strangers to the art of total entertainment. Multi-instrumentalists, great physical comics and fluently bilingual, this Acadian duo has played to standing ovations both at home, across Canada and overseas. Their performances bring to life an energetic blend of visual humour and quick wit combined with the upbeat foot-stomping music and dance of their indigenous PEI Acadian roots.
In-Flight Safety soars to great heights with their latest, we are an empire, my dear. Last winter, the Halifax-based, four-piece took to the proverbial woods and recorded in Fox River, Nova Scotia with producer Laurence Currie. The result of their seclusion is a 12-track collection of royal and poignant pop songs. In-Flight Safety has crafted an auditory call to arms. In these seemingly ambiguous times, the fever to connect to one another is fierce. we are an empire, my dear explores this terrain through the lenses of wealth, greed, love, faith and humanity’s ability to change.
John Connolly is a singer/songwriter. He has established himself as a serious songwriting presence on the east coast. He spent much of the past year touring Eastern Canada and spent time in Nashville with the goal of bringing his songwriting to a world-class level. This past autumn, he headed back to Nashville to continue this journey and a new EP is due out in the spring documenting his latest work.
Recognized by his peers as one of Canada’s best performing songwriters, Lennie Gallant has released nine albums, which have won him a host of awards and nominations from both the JUNO Awards and East Coast Music Awards. His last album, “When We Get There,” was nominated for a JUNO Award and went into space aboard Space Shuttle Endeavour in July 2009. Canadian astronaut Julie Payette chose the album for the astronaut crew to enjoy. Over 30 artists have recorded his songs, including Jimmy Buffett, who invited Gallant to perform on stage with him. As a performer, Gallant’s intense delivery reaches down to the very soul of his audience, moving effortlessly through stirring narratives, comic observations, and hard driving rhythms.
Meaghan Blanchard is a 20-year-old emerging singer-songwriter from Hunter River, PEI. Her passion is music. She heads into her final year at UPEI this fall and has been performing in front of school, church and community benefit concert audiences from a young age, graduating to all-ages shows and coffee houses in high school and now to concert venues and much more. She released her first album, “Changing Things,” in September 2008. Meaghan picked up four Music PEI 2009 Awards and was nominated for two ECMAs this year.
Paper Lions cross genres and generations with their pop-rock, folk, blues, barber shop show. Their energy, passion and sheer musicianship have been bringing audiences to their feet everywhere, from performing arts centres to outdoor festivals. Dressed in their trademark tailored suits, Paper Lions manage to allude to past eras while maintaining an unmistakably modern edge. Full of talent, personality and phenomenal originality, this award-winning band has earned regional and national awards, including Touring Artist of the Year from the Canadian Arts Presenters Organization and Pop Recording of the Year from the East Coast Music Awards.
Born and raised in Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, Cousins now calls Halifax, Nova Scotia home. Her first full-length album, “If You Were For Me,” (2006) was recorded at CBC Halifax’s Studio H. She has toured across both Canada and the USA in support of “If You Were for Me” and received a variety of awards including: East Coast Music Awards Female Recording of the Year (2008), Mountain Stage’s Newsong Contest (2007), Nova Scotia Music Awards for Best Folk Recording and Galaxie Rising Star (2007), Prince Edward Island Music Awards for Folk Recording and Female Vocalist (2007). She also received a national nomination at the Canadian Folk Music Awards.
Richard Wood, with Gordon Belsher and Brad Fremlin:
Prince Edward Island fiddling dynamo Richard Wood has been wowing audiences all across Canada, as well as in the U.S., Europe and Japan, for more than a decade. He has performed for the Queen of England and the Emperor of Japan, he has entertained Canadian troops in Bosnia and Afghanistan, and he was a featured performer in the touring fiddle spectacle “Bowfire.” Richard has won three East Coast Music Awards, and MacLean’s Magazine named him one of the Top 100 Canadians to watch in the 21st century.
Gordon Belsher was a “Roots Traditional Solo Artist” nominee at Canada’s 2008 East Coast Music Awards for his CD, “Call up all the Neighbours.” As accompanist and featured vocalist with Richard Wood and Island fiddling jewel Cynthia MacLeod, Gordon has toured extensively across Canada, the U.S., the U.K. and Europe, and performed as part of the cultural delegation for Team Canada in Tokyo, Japan in 1999. At the 2006 Charlottetown Festival, he was featured in “Celtic Blaze” with fiddling and step-dancing jaw-dropper Stephanie Cadman, and he composed the opening anthem for the 2004 Canada Special Olympics Winter Games. Gordon also operates Guernsey Cove Parlour Productions recording studio out of his home in Prince Edward Island.
Brad Fremlin moved to Prince Edward Island to work as the principal drumming, piano and theory instructor at Summerside’s College of Piping and Celtic Performing Arts. An accomplished percussionist and classically trained pianist, he also plays the accordion and is even bowing the musical hand saw! Brad released his first solo CD of original compositions in 2001. It includes a version of his showstopping “drum salute” on the marching snare, which was recorded live in Denmark while touring the world with Richard Wood. He performed in the Charlottetown Festival’s “Celtic Blaze” and “A Closer Walk With Patsy Cline,” as well as in the popular PEI show “Hedgerow.” Brad was also part of a show for Canadian and International troops in Afghanistan in 2006.
Tim Chaisson and Morning Fold:
Tim Chaisson and Morning Fold (Tian Wigmore, Brien McCarthy, Nat Lamoureux) was formed in 2008 to allow east coast performer, song writer and multi-instrumentalist Tim Chaisson to promote and grow his original music. In this short time period, they have worked hard to share their music across the region and the country. In October 2009, the band was pleased to surface as a Finalist in the Canadian Indie Music Week competition. Their hard work and gripping stage show continues to gain them fans throughout the country.
Chaisson has more than 17 industry awards or nominations and currently has no less than five PEI Music Awards nominations for Songwriter of the Year, Group of the Year, Recording of the Year, Pop Recording of the Year and Entertainer of the Year, and an East Coast Music Award nomination for Best Pop Recording.
The Grass Mountain Hobos:
The Hobos are of another time. A time when pleasure usurped profession, when live music provided the soundtrack for excess; this period they bring to life on stages across Canada. With a stage show that harkens back to the days of the traveling salesman, The Hobos are the cure-all elixir for those requiring entertainment. Their brand of music is authentic and complex, mixing equal parts of the carnival, farm, tavern and circus. Two acoustic guitars, a banjo, mandolin, doghouse bass and a fiddle create the unique backdrop over which the 6 vocalists paint malevolent yet harmonious works of art. Their music drives and swings while they stomp - the crowd smiles and joins in.
Two Hour Traffic:
Initially conceived as a two-piece, lead singer Liam Corcoran and guitarist Alec O’Hanley recruited bassist Andrew MacDonald and drummer Derek Ellis while attending university in their hometown of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. It wasn’t until 2007's breakthrough “Little Jabs” that the world really took notice. Appearing on dozens of year-end best of lists, Little Jabs also garnered an ECMA for Best Pop Recording and was a finalist for the coveted Polaris Music Prize. Add to this, three coast-to-coast tours, appearances at festivals such as Hillside, CMJ and SXSW and shows across the Atlantic, and you have one of the most visible and successful Canadian independent acts of the last two years.
The members of Vishten have been touring their brand of new-traditional Acadian music for seven years in over 1,000 performances rendered in 8 different countries. Twin sisters Pastelle and Emmanuelle LeBlanc from Prince Edward Island, Canada have teamed up with Pascal Miousse and Louis-Charles Vigneau from the nearby Magdelene Islands to create a sound that is essentially Celtic with a difference, driven by four-part vocals sung in French, innovative tune arrangements and fiery footwork.
The Confederation Centre Young Company:
The Confederation Centre Young Company celebrates Prince Edward Island with their original production Abegweit - The Soul of the Island. Talented young performers of diverse ethnicities come together to tell the story of the people, history, culture and future of Prince Edward Island with music, dance and spoken word. This bilingual show thrilled audiences at The Charlottetown Festival in 2009 and returns to Charlottetown in the summer of 2010. Created by Anne Allan and Wade Lynch, the Charlottetown newspaper The Guardian calls Abegweit - The Soul of the Island, “A wonderful display of song and dance for the entire family.”