By Maureen Coulter
Jan. 16, 2014
More than 100 enthusiasts met Jan. 16 at the newly renovated Delta
to hear this years lineup of the East Coast artists April 2-6.
It is a special year for P.E.I. Charlottetown will play host for the 2014 East Coast Music week and this year marks the 150-year anniversary of the Charlottetown conference.
Jennifer Evans, co-chair of the ECMA, said it’s thrilling for them to be able to bring Atlantic Canada’s biggest musical celebration to P.E.I. for this landmark year.
“From experience, we know that this event will have a profound economic and cultural impact on our region.”
This event will provide a boost to east coast cities, she said.
“It will draw visitors to our region who will stay in our hotels, eat in our restaurants and shop at our stores.”
Evans said the business community will be at the forefront of this positive and economic event.
“We certainly hope that the local businesses will show their support and join in on this fantastic event.”
Tourism and Culture Minister Robert Henderson said the ECMAs will have a significant impact on Charlottetown.
“The ECMAs have had a significant impact on our economy in past performances. We think this time we are going to hit it out of the park.”
Henderson has gone to the ECMAs in previous years in other cities and found it sometimes hard to get from one event to the other, he said.
P.E.I. has it in their favour because everything is within walking distance, said Henderson.
“The numbers will prove that out.”
Henderson said many know he is a big supporter of the music industry, not just in the east coast but here on P.E.I.
“Music is part of our culture, part of our economy and a way of life here in the east coast.”
The ECMAs give musicians a chance to be seen on a regional if not national stage, he said.
“You would be hard pressed to find a region with a richer and more diverse collection of musicians and musical styles anywhere else in the world.”
It is an honour for him to be the minister responsible, he said.
“Music is one of those key ingredients to making a great time and a success.”
Clifford Lee, mayor of Charlottetown, said on behalf of himself and his colleagues it’s a real honour to participate in the news conference.
“The city of Charlottetown is excited to once again play host to Eastlink east coast music week.”
Lee said ECMAs are a cultural celebration that seem to be almost created for Charlottetown.
“We have hosted over the years with great success.”
Charlottetown is ready to provide the hospitality that it is known for, he said.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our city to come to life this spring with a cultural explosion.”
Kayo is one of those artists that have a ton of cultural explosion.
He performed two songs today at the ECMA announcements.
Originally from Saint Lucia, Kayo has been living in Nova Scotia for the past four years.
He recently graduated from Saint Mary’s. He studied marketing.
Kayo said he is having a great time in the music industry.
“The nature of this business is that you have fun doing it. You get to travel a lot, you get to meet a lot of people.”
Kayo originally signed a production deal with Classified and did an EP together, he said.
“He brought me on the road for the first time in 2010. Since then it’s kind of been a natural progression.”
Kayo said he has big dreams for himself.
“Would it be cliché to say I would like to take over the world?”
Ideally Kayo would like to transcend out of just being a rapper, he said.
“I want to be seen as an artist, a new age Fugee or Marley. That’s where I would like to see myself in a few years.”
Singer/songwriter Meaghan Blanchard said in the next five years, she has a pretty good projection of where she would like to go.
“I hope to take it wherever it will take me. I am pretty booked up for the next two years.”
Blanchard had not put out a record for the past two and half years but her newest record she recorded was in Athens Georgia with producer John Keen.
“As an artist I feel like I have learned a lot.”
Blanchard said she feels she has come into a mindset where if she wants to be at the level she is at with her career and go beyond she has to invest financially and take those big risks.
“I feel like mentally I have grown in my game and also songwriting-wise.”
Blanchard plans to record three more albums in the next four and a half years and hopes to build her music from the ground up.
Blanchard said she is very excited to have the ECMAs in P.E.I this year.
“The East Coast is so tight knit but even more so when it’s in your hometown.”
Blanchard said she is glad her family and neighbours won’t have to travel so far.
“They always want to travel to Newfoundland or Halifax but don’t always get to.”
Henderson said this year it was supposed to be hosted in N.B. but P.E.I. swapped spots with them.
The ECMAs, for the second year in a row, will be covered by Eastlink.
Eastlink channels 10- and 610 will be covering the entire East Coast music week nationally.