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CCOA: The Centre Of It All For Canada's 150th Anniversary

November 29, 2016

National Memorial unveils #Centre150 - Rich suite of 2017 celebration projects

(Charlottetown, P.E.I.) - With one month to go until the official beginning of the country's sesquicentennial, Confederation Centre has unveiled a selection of major 2017 commemorative projects, reflecting on Canadian identity and envisioning new legacies for future generations. Collectively entitled "Centre 150" these projects include new art exhibitions and heritage programs, a national theatre conference, and an original touring production from some of Canada's most gifted emerging performers.

The Centre's signature project is The Dream Catchers, a national touring production in two stages, supported by the Department of Canadian Heritage's Canada 150 Fund. An artistic team will travel to each province and territory to facilitate workshops, exploring young people's dreams for themselves and our country, with a focus toward the environment, inclusion, and reconciliation. Actual dreamcatchers will also be created by the youth in each workshop and integrated by Indigenous visual artist Nick Huard, into a large national dreamcatcher exhibited at the Centre.

Huard and Mary Francis Moore, associate artistic director, Charlottetown Festival, will lead the sessions in collaboration with local artists in each region, including Romesh Thavanathan of Hey Rosetta, Emm Gryner, City Natives, and more. Inspired by the dreams of Canada's youth, the Centre's creative team will then produce a vibrant and movement-filled musical for an expanded Young Company. A troupe of more than 20 emerging artists who reflect the country's cultural diversity will be cast and will present the original show both nationally and on P.E.I. all summer long.

A Dream Catchers website will launch at confederationcentre.com on December 12 featuring a submission tool for young Canadians to submit their dreams for the future and apply to be part of the workshops.

In celebration of one of the Festival's most successful ever musicals, Confederation Centre will revisit Kronborg 1582 at The 2017 Charlottetown Festival, sponsored by CIBC. Based on the Shakespearean tragedy, Hamlet, the classic was produced by the Centre in 1975 and went on to play on Broadway. The Festival Ensemble and Orchestra will perform a concert version of Kronborg 1582 on July 28.

Aligning with the dates of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, the Centre will present The Charlottetown Festival Conference in September 2017. Celebrating industry developments and new ideas, this national gathering will include keynote lecturers; a concert performance of Leslie Arden's Dora-winning musical The House of Martin Guerre; workshop presentations; and the world premiere of the new musical, A Misfortune at The Mack.

Last summer the Centre announced a major new sponsorship with CN for The Confederation Players. After a very successful first season, CN is extending its sponsorship of the youth heritage program through to 2020. As part of this unique partnership, the Players will travel to Ottawa for the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) conference in June to perform for more than 1,500 Canadian municipal leaders. CN and the Players are planning additional events in other provinces, including ceremonial tree planting ceremonies to mark Canada 150 in communities across the country, including Charlottetown.

The Confederation Centre Art Gallery will present the commemorative exhibition RE:collection in 2017, taking over the entire 1,200 square meters of gallery space as well as the public sculptures around the Centre. Curated by Kevin Rice and Pan Wendt, this project will explore the building of a major Canadian art collection as both an optimistic mission and a reflection on the evolving country, its history, geography, people and communities.

Featured will be selections from the Robert Harris collection; L.M. Montgomery's novel manuscript for Anne of Green Gables; the Expo 67 craft collection; the commissioned ‘Confederation Murals,' including Jack Shadbolt's Flag Mural and Wanda Koop's Native Fires, 1999, along with a new commission in this series. A significant array of other historic, modern, and contemporary works of art-touchstones, signals, images that connect, challenge, and enrich people's lives-will round out the RE:collection exhibition.

Parks Canada helps Canadians to experience their rich history and heritage in a special way and will pay a big part in the celebration of Canada 150. This summer, Parks Canada will be asking Canadians to share their ideas and vision for their dream country through Imagine a Country on the Confederation Centre of the Arts outdoor plaza. Visitors will be invited to answer or fill-in a question inspired by the Fathers of Confederation, for example "In my dream country, there would be ...". Using the Imagine a Country photobooth, visitors then snap a picture of themselves with their message. The picture will be printed and hung on a photo wall to inspire others. Parks Canada is pleased to collaborate with the Centre on this initiative, which will celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.

Additional ‘Centre 150' theatre and visual arts projects, including partnerships with organizations such as Discover Charlottetown and the City of Charlottetown will be announced in winter 2017. Follow along at confederationcentre.com, or via hashtag #Centre150.
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Additional Quotes:
"As the Centre is the national memorial to the founding of Canada, there is no better place to celebrate the 150th anniversary than right here. This living memorial covers a city block in the heart of Canada's Birthplace, and visitors will find entertaining and expressive ways to honour this important anniversary across the complex, inside and out. The live theatre, visual art, and youth programming we will present is diverse, accessible, and forward-thinking - join us for Centre 150!"
Jessie Inman, CEO, Confederation Centre of the Arts

"The 150th anniversary of Confederation provides Canadians with the opportunity to strengthen the ties that unite them and to reflect on the legacy they wish to leave to future generations. The Dream Catchers project encourages young Canadians to share their vision for the nation's future through an original musical that reflects our cultural diversity."
-The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage

"The diverse visions, observations, and ideas of artists represented within the 17,000 piece collection allow us to mark the 150th anniversary with one of our largest exhibitions and publication projects. Collectively, we hope visitors will be delighted and engaged as they are linked to a century and a half of Canadian art as they consider the anniversary celebrations and envision Canada's future."

-Kevin Rice, Gallery Director, Confederation Centre Art Gallery

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Photo cutline: Membertou First Nation youth representative Salena Sylvester (right) and Indigenous visual artist Nick Huard exchange eagle feathers during a ceremony at Confederation Centre. The ceremony symbolized the passing of the project from the youth of Membertou to the youth of Canada. Along with a creative team from the Centre’s Charlottetown Festival, Huard will be leading workshops with youth across the country as part of the Canada 150 Signature Project, The Dream Catchers. Several other projects were announced as part of #Centre150, commemorating Canada’s sesquicentennial throughout 2017 at the living memorial complex (Louise Vessey photo).


Media Contact
Fraser McCallum, Communications Manager | Gérant des communications 
Confederation Centre of the Arts | Le Centre des arts de la Confédération
902.628.6135 (office | bureau) | fmccallum@confederationcentre.com 
facebook.com/confedcentre | Twitter/Instagram: @confedcentre | confederationcentre.com

Background on the Centre:
Confederation Centre of the Arts is Canada's national memorial to the Fathers of Confederation, located in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Home to The Charlottetown Festival - with the long-running Anne of Green Gables-The MusicalTM as its crown jewel - and a major Canadian art gallery, this living memorial welcomes more than 250,000 visitors each year. First opened by HRM Queen Elizabeth II in 1964, Confederation Centre continues to present the finest in Canadian visual and performing arts, heritage, and arts education to visitors from across Canada and around the world.