PEI 2014 Kicks Off Anniversary Celebrations in Ottawa

Ottawa residents gathered for official unveiling of the Celebration Calendar 

OTTAWA, ON, Oct. 24, 2013 /CNW/ - Today, PEI 2014 Inc. unveiled the Official PEI 2014 Celebration Calendar to media and special guests in Ottawa, as part of the Island Roadshow: Celebrating the Birthplace of Confederation. Packed with more than 150 exciting events and celebrations taking place on the Island, the diverse calendar of events proves that 2014 really is the best time to visit Prince Edward Island.  The year-long Sesquicentennial celebrations will see the province buzzing with activity and alive with Canadian pride in recognition of the historic Charlottetown Conference of 1864.  The events and activities will pave the way for the nation-wide celebrations in 2017 - Canada's 150th birthday.

"PEI 2014 promises to be an unforgettable year-long celebration and commemoration of the 150th anniversary (Sesquicentennial) of the historic Charlottetown Conference, that led to .Confederation," said Penny Walsh-McGuire, Executive Director for PEI 2014 Inc. "We're inviting Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast to be a part of history by participating in these once-in-a-lifetime 2014 anniversary celebrations."

The celebrations will reflect Canadian culture and history with more than 150 events, festivals and activities throughout the year on the Island, including five PEI 2014 flagship events. The Sesquicentennial celebration highlights include:

  • PEI 2014 New Year's Eve Opening Celebrations (December 31, 2013)
  • Canada Day 2014 Celebrations (July 1, 2014)
  • PEI 2014 Celebration Zone (Summer 2014)
  • Founder's Week (August 28-September 7, 2014)
  • PEI 2014 New Year's Eve Finale Celebrations (December 31, 2014)
  • And much more

More than just a celebration, PEI 2014's activities will remind and educate Canadians on this key moment in Canada's history that took place in Charlottetown and shaped our nation, and also provide the stimulus for the national Sesquicentennial of Canadian Confederation in 2017.

Ottawa was one of eight Canadian cities to play host to the exclusive Island Roadshow, the first national kick-off for PEI 2014. The evening event, hosted by Island comedian, Patrick Ledwell (CBC's The Debaters), brought Canadian history to life and gave a taste of the celebrations. Entertainment included indigenous food from PEI, and a live cabaret-style performance by some of the Island's finest artists, featuring the music of Island songwriter Angele Arsenault, and the late Stompin' Tom and Gene McLellan. The Island Roadshow also marks the national debut of the Official PEI 2014 Theme Song, Forever Strong - written by . Mike Ross and Nicole Bellamy, winners of a national song search.  Internationally renowned recording artist, Angele Arsenault, translated the lyrics of Forever Strong for the French version, Île au Tresor.

Eight Days, Twenty-Three Top Hats and One Great Nation1

  • The conference, originally set by PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick to discuss the possibility of a Maritime Union, turned out to be a key moment in Canada's History when the Province of Canada (now known as Ontario and Quebec) asked to attend the meeting, and discussions evolved to the grand matter of forming a nation
  • Twenty-three delegates participated in the week-long event; among them was Sir John A. Macdonald, the man who would become Canada's first Prime Minister
  • For the next eight days (with a break on Sunday) the delegates would discuss matters such as the benefits of Confederation, the financial issues associated with union, and the division of responsibilities between provinces and the proposed country
  • On September 8, 1864, the Charlottetown Conference concluded with a ball, and the Fathers of Confederation approved the concept of Confederation
  • By the time the delegates were ready to leave PEI, they had come to an agreement to unite the colonies into one country
  • In light of the work done and goodwill fostered at the Prince Edward Island meeting, the nation of Canada became a reality on July 1st, 1867

For more information on celebrating 2014 in PEI, and a full list of events, visit For vacation planning tools and ideas, visit Also, for live updates and to join the conversation, visit PEI 2014 on Facebook and Twitter using hashtag #PEI 2014.

About PEI 2014 Inc.
In 2014, Canadians will mark the 150th anniversary (Sesquicentennial) of the historic 1864 Charlottetown Conference, which paved the way to Confederation. PEI 2014 Inc. is facilitating the planning, promotion and implementation of the Sesquicentennial celebrations. The PEI 2014 celebrations are made possible through generous support from the Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island.  The year-long and province-wide PEI 2014 program of events will honour the past, celebrate the present and plan a bold tomorrow.

1 Hennessey, C., Keenlyside, D., MacDonald, E. (2010). The Landscapes Of Confederation. Museum & Heritage Prince Edward Island.

Image with caption: "Representing the Government of Canada, MP for Miramichi, Tilly O'Neill Gordon, is joined by (from left to right) PEI 2014 Inc. Executive Director, Penny Walsh McGuire, PEI's Minister of Tourism and Culture, Hon. Robert Henderson, and the cast of the Island Roadshow in Ottawa for the unveiling of the official PEI 2014 Celebration Calendar for the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference. (CNW Group/Prince Edward Island 2014 Inc.)". Image available at:

SOURCE: Prince Edward Island 2014 Inc.

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