Confederation Centre of the Arts
History and museums
The Confederation Centre of the Arts (French: Le Centre des arts de la Confédération) is a cultural centre dedicated to the visual and performing arts located in the city of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Construction of the Confederation Centre, as it is commonly referred to, started in 1960 and Queen Elizabeth II officially opened it to the public on October 6, 1964. The institution is funded by the ten provincial governments in Canada and the federal government as Canada's National Memorial to the Fathers of Confederation, who met in Charlottetown in September 1864 at what was called the Charlottetown Conference.
..."The Fathers of Confederation Memorial Building is a tribute to those famous men who founded our Confederation. But it is also dedicated to the fostering of those things that enrich the mind and delight the heart, those intangible but precious things that give meaning to a society and help create from it a civilization and a culture." — Prime Minister L. B. Pearson, Opening Ceremonies for the Confederation Centre of the Arts, October 6, 1964 2
As part of its mandate to showcase the best in Canadian visual and performing arts the centre has played host to the Charlottetown Festival every summer since 1965, with a tribute to its host-province by playing Canada's most popular and longest-running mainstage musical Anne of Green Gables — The Musical. It also inspired the production of the critically acclaimed musical, Anne and Gilbert. Their most successful second mainstage show to date is Canada Rocks.
The centre was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2003.
Confederation Centre was built on Queen's Square in the centre of Charlottetown's business district, immediately west of Province House, Prince Edward Island's legislature and the location of the Charlottetown Conference. The centre is one contiguous structure, however at street level it appears as three separate buildings (hosting a theatre, art gallery and public library) clustered around "Memorial Hall" which faces east toward Province House. The Confederation Chambre in Province House, where the conference meetings took place, is located on the western side of that building, thus facing directly at Confederation Centre's Memorial Hall.
Confederation Centre covers a block in the central business district, bounded on three sides by Grafton Street, Queen Street, and Richmond Street.
The Confederation Centre Art Gallery hosts numerous traveling exhibits and its own permanent collection. The public library is administered under the provincial library system and is Charlottetown's principal library. The restaurant, Mavor's Bistro and Bar is located right off the lobby and hosts a wide selection of wines and serves a Starbucks menu.
The Confederation Centre mainstage theatre is the largest theatre mainstage in Canada east of Montreal.