“Don’t just go to watch Anne please,” say Rob MacPhee and Colin Buchanan of local indie popsters Paper Lions speaking on behalf of the variety of performances at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.
And though the Confed has put on a production of Anne of Green Gables: The Musical every year since 1965, there’s more to the theatre than the Canadian classic.
Opened in 1964 by Queen Elizabeth II, this National Historic Site of Canada has developed a reputation for featuring visual and performing arts, often focusing on Canadian heritage. Taking up a whole city block of the small city, the Confederation Centre is the largest live-event venue in Charlottetown. The building, made up of four bulky sandstone cubes, can be found in Queen’s Square in the heart of the business district, just blocks from the waterfront.
Boasting a capacity of 1102, the theatre main stage is the largest east of Montreal, and has hosted artists such as the Barenaked Ladies, Serena Ryder, City and Colour, Ben Caplan and Tanya Tagaq, among many others. There are also three smaller theatres.
Every summer since 1965, the Centre has hosted the Charlottetown Festival, a celebration that includes annual performances of Anne of Green Gables and Canada Rocks, a show featuring 200 songs from the past 50 years of Canadian rock, pop, folk, country and traditional music. The Confed features mainly family-friendly acts, so it’s not the spot to get rowdy, but the surrounding district is full of restaurants with good food and drink to accompany your visit. It’s easily accessible by taxi, bus or walking from the nearby hotels, and features accessible entrances and washrooms for those with mobility issues.