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Tourism PEIContactFrançais



Facts

Community Museums
PEI is all about community, and that’s why you’ll find dozens of community museums across the Island. Located in historic buildings, on heritage sites and at contemporary interpretative centres, these essential archives celebrate our heritage, architecture, industries, military history and art. For an authentic look at our way of life, spend some time at a community museum.
• View Museums •
Robert Harris - Artist
Born in 1849, Robert Harris would become famous for his portraits and is recognized as one of Canada’s great artists. The Harris family, including his brother William, emigrated from Wales to Prince Edward Island. Robert studied art in Europe and in Boston, returning to the Island in 1879. Though he would later live in Toronto and Montreal, Harris remains very much an Island artist, with portraits of Islanders featuring significantly in his body of work. His painting, Fathers of Confederation, has become an iconic Canadian image. Harris is buried in Charlottetown’s St. Peter’s Cemetery. An extensive collection of his work is housed at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown.
• Visual Arts •
Island Lighthouses
As an Island, the sea has been an integral part of the livelihood, visual landscape and recreational life of Islanders for centuries. Built to warn ships of dangers at sea and as a beacon leading safely to port, lighthouses have been an essential nautical aid here since 1845, when PEI’s first lighthouse was built. Today, visitors can see many of our 63 lighthouses and tour lighthouse museums to explore their critical role in our maritime heritage, or simply enjoy the beautiful vistas they create along our coastline.
• Built Heritage •
Confederation Trail
Today, PEI’s train routes have been converted to 400 kilometers of walking and cycling paths that take you into the wetlands and hardwood groves, through quaint villages and along sparkling rivers. The Confederation Trail is a treasure for nature lovers, artists, hikers, and photographers, or anyone looking to spread a blanket for an afternoon picnic.
• Natural Heritage •
Arts Now
With a heritage steeped in the arts, PEI has always been about honouring the traditional  while embracing the new. As technology has become more user-friendly, recordings by PEI artists can be heard online. Their music videos and concert clips populate websites, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and other social media. Our filmmakers have also taken to the web, creating several web series such as Bunny Bop, Food Country with Chef Michael Smith,  Profile PEI and Just Passing Through.
• Performing Arts •
Human Heritage Experiences
PEI’s cultural sector has always been experience oriented. A night at the theatre or a ceilidh ensures the visitor takes home a unique memory and maybe even a new dance step or two. Now, the experiential element of Island culture takes you beyond viewing to hands-on learning experiences in intimate settings. Island cultural masters (music, art, dance, craft, fishers, farmers, etc.) will share their passion with you. Whether you want to develop your creative abilities or try your hand at a traditional Island skill, you’ll find your opportunity through our “Authentic PEI Experiences”. www.tourismpei.com/pei-experiences
• Human Heritage •
Our Cultural Composite
The population of Prince Edward Island is now more diverse than at any other time in its history. Though the overwhelming majority of Islanders would identify as Canadian first, our cultural makeup includes Scottish, English, Irish, French, Acadian, First Nations, Lebanese, Chinese, Dutch, and a number of others. Recently, the Island has seen a significant amount of newcomers arriving from Asia-Pacific, as well as those from Africa and South America, all enhancing the social fabric of PEI.
• Human Heritage •
The Railway
When the Dominion of Canada decided to build its cross-country railroad in 1871, PEI had not yet joined Confederation. PEI determined it would be beneficial to construct its own railway. The financial obligation brought by this Island railway propelled PEI into joining the new Dominion in 1873. Trains remained active on PEI until December 31, 1989. The heritage of our railway can be experienced through community museums such as the Elmira Railway Museum and former railway tracks now make up the Confederation Trail.
• Built Heritage •
Canada is Born
In September 1864, delegates from PEI, Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were meeting in Charlottetown to discuss Maritime Union. Representatives from the province of Canada (Quebec & Ontario) arrived in Charlottetown to open a discussion on the the larger possibility of creating a nation that would stretch from sea to sea. When “The Fathers of Confederation” came ashore in rowboats no one was there to greet them. A circus was in town and most Islanders were in the audience. Despite this less than stellar beginning, consensus was reached to move forward with the concept of the new “Canada”. For this reason, PEI is referred to as “The Birthplace of Canada” and “The Cradle of Confederation”.
• Charlottetown •
Sea Glass
Island artisans have long appreciated the aesthetic value of the sea glass found along our shores. Sea glass is broken glass that has been smoothed by the waves and sand. The frosted glass, in soft hues of blue, red and green, is incorporated into the work of PEI artisan jewellers. 
• Artisan Studios •
Cultural Souvenirs
Visitors to PEI have long cherished Island-made arts and crafts as keepsakes and one-of-a-kind gifts.  As PEI’s artisan sector has grown, so has its offerings and quality. PEI is a craft lovers paradise with artisan studios, craft shops, antique shops and art galleries dotting our Island landscape.
• Artisan Studios •
Quilt Icon
As you travel the Arts & Heritage Trail, you’ll notice icons representing quilt board squares on some of the participants’ buildings. These eye-catching quilt boards denote trail participants and provide an artistic visual as you travel across PEI. Each has been designed to reflect the personality of its associated business, organization or site, while helping to identify the Island’s cultural community.
• Quilt Panels •
The People's Poet
Born in Charlottetown in 1923, Milton Acorn was a carpenter who became one of Canada’s finest and most loved poets. To his peers he was known as “The People’s Poet”, an artist who never lost touch with his working-class background. Acorn remained an approachable and unique individual until his death in 1986. His poems such as I Shout Love,  and I’ve Tasted My Blood, and collections such as Dig Up My Heart and In Love and Anger, give readers a taste of Acorn’s artistry. Milton Acorn’s poetry can be found at the Confederation Centre Library or online at the University of Toronto Library.
• Human Heritage •
PEI Heritage Places
Living in the Birthplace of Canada, Islanders have first hand experience with cultural heritage and its preservation. Our diminutive Island is home to more than 850 Heritage Places. These places, recognized for their historical importance include public buildings, churches, lighthouses, residences, parks, pioneer cemeteries, heritage roads, barns, and schools. Information on the historical significance for each place, a brief history, photographs, address and GPS coordinates can be found at peihistoricplaces.ca. As some recognized heritage places are private residences, please note that not all are open to the public.
PEI Crafts Council Studio Tour
September 9th and 10th. Check www.peistudios.ca for a list of participating studios.
William Critchlow Harris, Architect
In 1856, at two years of age, William Critchlow Harris emigrated from Wales to Prince Edward Island with his family. After apprenticing with an architect in Halifax, Critchlow returned to PEI and became an architect of renown,specializing in the design of churches. His work mixed elements of Gothic styles; his earlier designs following the High Victorian style, and his later, the French Gothic style. Fine Island examples of Harris architecture include Beaconsfield in Charlottetown,and St. Mary's Church in Indian River, home of the Indian River Festival. William is the brother of Robert Harris, founding member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art, who is famous for his portrait of the Fathers of Confederation.
• Built Heritage •
Lucy Maud Montgomery
Born in Clifton (now New London), PEI in 1874, Lucy Maud Montgomery would become one of Canada’s most famous and cherished writers. With 20 novels and hundreds of poems in print, it was Anne of Green Gables, her first published novel (1908), which put the author on the map. Montgomery’s imaginative and passionate redheaded orphan would become an international phenomenon, with over 50 million copies of the first Anne book sold worldwide. Maud died in Ontario in 1942. Her final resting place is at the Cavendish Community Cemetery, here in her beloved PEI.
• Human Heritage •
Ceilis, Ceilidhs and Kitchen Parties
Islanders love to have a good time, and everyone is always welcome to join us! Ceilidhs (pronounced “kay-lees”) traveled to the Island with Scottish and Irish newcomers (Irish spelling “céilí”). Kitchen Parties arrived with new Canadians from France. They are all music and dance-filled celebrations that you’ll find in community halls and on stages across PEI.
• Festivals/Events •
Highland Games
With our strong Scottish roots here on PEI, it’s no wonder that the Highland Games are a popular event for locals and visitors alike. Highland sports, dance, pipes and drum demonstrations and competitions are just some of the sights, sounds and experiences you’ll encounter at Lord Selkirk Park. Since 1864, the PEI Highland Games has been an Island tradition presented by the Caledonian Club of PEI, taking place this year Aug. 5th & 6th.
• Human Heritage •
Scan Me! (QR Codes)
If your smartphone has an application that can read QR codes (Quick Response codes), scan the code above and you’ll be taken directly to the Arts and Heritage Trail website. These QR codes are a convenient way to make an immediate link between a site, product or organization and its website. You’ll also find scannable QR codes attached to the quilt icon signs along the trail, giving you another source for visitor information.
PEI on stage
The depth and diversity of the Island theatre community will surprise you. In communities across PEI, the stories of Islanders and our neighbours are being told onstage.
Take in Acadian entertainment at the Musical Village. Visit the evocative and intimate productions at Victoria Playhouse, King’s Playhouse and the Watermark Theatre. Community theatre takes to the stage at the St. Peters Court House Theatre and the Britannia Hall Theatre in Tyne Valley. In our cities, Summerside is home to the Harbourfront Theatre, while Charlottetown hosts theatre at The Guild and the Charlottetown Festival at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
• Performing Arts •
Acadian Heritage
PEI has a strong and vibrant Acadian Heritage. Here are some examples of our wonderful Acadian product!

MONT CARMEL SUMMER CONCERT SERIES 2017 - Mont Carmel Parish Hall

This year, the Concert Series includes nine shows being held every Sunday night from July 2 to August 27 (one show a week). Discover excellence in Acadian, Traditional, Folk, Maritime and Contemporary music by the finest artists from PEI and across Canada. This Concert Series features extremely talented artists and high-energy stepdancers. An experience not to be missed! Visit www.cooperativeculturelledemontcarmel.com

ACADIEN HARVEST IN RUSTICO - Sept 4-Sept 30, 2017
Our festival will feature: a workshop on Traditional Acadian Basket Weaving, Harvesting of the Doucet House Gardens, a series of three lectures on the Acadian Culture and other topics by three notable PEI lecturers, three traditional Acadian meals
prepared over the open hearth and outdoor bake oven as well as opportunities to have your picture taken in an authentic Acadian costume, and an evening of musical entertainment. Visit festivalspei.com/event/celebrating-acadian-harvest-in-rustico/

ACADIAN MUSICAL VILLAGE - July 1, 2017-August 31, 2017
Acadian Musical Village in Abram Village is the home of Acadian interpretive and interactive musical experiences and performances. Spend a fun-filled day at the Musical Village and discover the rich cultural and musical fabric of the Evangeline region. Musical, artistic and culinary experiences are offered for all ages! Visit villagemusical.com/en/

ACADIEN FESTIVAL IN SOURIS - August 12 & 13, 2017
Come join us on Saturday, August 12 at Saint Mary's Hall in Souris from 6pm to 9pm for an old fashioned kitchen party, chicken fricot and white galettes. On Sunday, August 13 there will be a family day with traditional Acadian music, dance and food. We will also have games, crafts and various activities for children.
Festivals
PEI’s arts and heritage festivals really heat up in the summer! Music fans visiting will want to take in the Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival in Rollo Bay, the Indian River Festival, the Jazz and Blues Festival or just find the nearest ceilidh.  Festivals will not be far away. For those who favour a taste of tradition and heritage, the Mermaid’s Tears Sea Glass Festival, the PEI Potato Blossom Festival, The Belfast Highland Games, and the L’Exposition agricole et le Festival acadien all fit the bill.
• Festivals/Events •
The Many Faces of Anne
So well-loved is L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, that she has had many incarnations since being introduced in 1908. Montgomery herself wrote nine Anne novels and two others in which Anne makes an appearance. Montgomery’s original and its sequels have been adapted for the television and film numerous times, most recently for TV with Martin Sheen as Matthew, and in 2017, as the 8-part series "Anne" for CBC and Netflix. Anne of Green Gables presented by the Confederation Centre of the Arts is Canada’s longest-running musical, and Anne & Gilbert, an Anne stage musical, is now presented at The Guild in Charlottetown.
• More Anne •
Abegweit Panmure Island Pow-Wow
For more than 20 years, the Native Council of Prince Edward Island has presented the Panmure Island Pow-Wow. This pow-wow is open to the public, free of charge, all donations are welcomed. The Pow-Wow shares aboriginal experiences such as traditional art and crafts, dancing, drumming, sweat lodge, and a traditional feast. Drawing approximately 3,000 visitors annually to the Panmure Island Cultural Park, the Pow-Wow, Aug. 19-20th, has become one of the Island’s premier cultural offerings.
• Human Heritage •
View or Request a Printed Copy of the Arts & Heritage Trail Guide!
Click Here