Returning for its ninth year, the PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls has announced details of its upcoming two-week run from June 11th to 24th. Moving between various community halls in rural PEI communities, the festival promises cultural events of music, dance, and storytelling in more than 40 different venues across the province.
Following a few smaller lead-up events, the festival will begin June 11th with performances at St. Mary’s Church in Indian River by JP Cormier, Dave Gunning and others. In the following weeks, the festival will host events all across the province. To improve coverage of the Island’s communities, the PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls has expanded to new venues. This includes the Knutsford Community Center, Upstreet Craft Brewing, the College of Piping, the West Point Harbourside Centre, Solid Rock Café at First Baptist Church, Moth Lane Brewery, Trinity United Church, St. Andrews United Church in Vernon Bridge, Vernon River Parish Hall, Cornerstone Baptist Church in Montague, and Roma at Three Rivers Pavilion.
While the festival is proud to host many of PEI’s most talented performers, there will also be a significant number of featured artists from away. This list includes Port Cities, Paul McKenna, Steve Poltz, The Press Gang, Coig, Tomato/Tomato, Cassie & Maggie MacDonald, The Once, William Prince, Charlie A’Court, James Keelaghan, the Mae Trio and the Barra MacNeils, just to name a few of the highlights.
Winner of the Music PEI 2017 award for Event of the Year as well as many similar accolades in the past eight years, the festival embraces local culture and the strength of communities. This focus on local community arts has helped the festival gain funding and support from both the provincial and federal governments.
Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-food Canada provided a statement on behalf of himself and several colleagues regarding the importance of the festival.
“A cultural experience like a Festival of Small Halls performance is a rare thing, valued equally by local residents and tourists alike. These intimate performance venues and outstanding artists capture the unique essence of Atlantic Canada’s musical heritage,” says MacAulay.
PEI’s Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, Heath MacDonald voiced his support for the Small Halls festival as well, showing pride in the Island’s arts and culture, stating “Prince Edward Island has a surprisingly large number of successful musicians for a province of its size, and the PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls is the perfect way to showcase our Island talent while inviting everyone to enjoy rural communities throughout the province. This successful festival provides an important economic boost while celebrating our unique culture, our communities and our heritage.”
The PEI Mutual Festival of Small Halls will be running from June 11th to 24th and will be hosted in local venues across the province. For tickets and scheduling info, please check out www.smallhalls.com.