By Ally Harris
Jan. 15, 2014
The countdown to Eastlink East Coast Music Week 2014 has officially begun, says a member of the event’s organizing committee.
Jennifer Evans was one of the organizers on-hand as the showcasing artists for ECMW 2014 were announced at the Prince Edward Island Convention Centre on Jan. 14.
The city will be buzzing when the event takes place April 2-6, she said.
“It is really thrilling for those of us here in P.E.I. to be able to bring Atlantic Canada’s biggest musical celebration to P.E.I. for this landmark year of 2014.”
Tourism and Culture Minister Rob Henderson announced some of the artists. He said the five-day event would only add to the excitement of 2014, already packed with events and celebrations.
“We certainly feel (it’s) a great year to be the host of such a prestigious event here with the city of Charlottetown host(ing) this East Coast Music Week.”
This will be the fifth time the event is held in Charlottetown, with the last time being in 2011.
“The province has always been a proud supporter of the East Coast Music Week and the ECMAs, and it gives our musicians an opportunity to be seen on a regional, if not on a national, stage,” said Henderson.
Over 75 artists were announced on Tuesday from 1,150 who applied. Among those artists being showcased are Meaghan Blanchard and Kayo, who both performed at the event.
Kayo, originally from St. Lucia, likes what he has seen of Charlottetown so far.
“It’s my second time here. I played the Big Red Festival over the summer and that was a lot of fun, so I’m looking forward to the ECMAs.”
“It’s just really a good time for all of us to get together, it’s great for networking, it’s great for potential collaborating. I’m more or less just looking forward to being here and being part of the whole experience.”
Evans also pointed out the economic benefits the event would provide.
“This event will provide a boost to our cities by bringing Islanders out to the many venues, plus draw visitors to our region who will stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants, and shop in our stores.”
Henderson said the timing of the event was particularly useful.
“We’ll be helped early April when the number of events and activities tend to be relatively low but we feel it is really going to have a significant impact on our economic outcome of the 2014 year.”
Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee also noted how the event would bring life to a normally quiet month.
“April is a relatively quiet time, and that’s going to bring a lot of people in to our city.”
More importantly, Charlottetown residents will be able to enjoy the local culture, he said.
“The ECMA week (brings) tremendous economic benefits to our community, it gives our own local residents an opportunity to really enjoy a really special event and it certainly highlights the – not only P.E.I. but Maritime – music and the arts and culture component of it which makes us unique.”
“It promises to be a week to remember,” said Henderson.