BACKSTAGE IN OTTAWA

CENTENARY

P.E.I. has started its sneak preview

April 4 1964
BACKSTAGE IN OTTAWA

CENTENARY

P.E.I. has started its sneak preview

April 4 1964

CENTENARY

P.E.I. has started its sneak preview

ELDON, P.E.I. (pop. 186), has made its plans for celebrating Canada’s centennial. It's going to put on one-day highland games. Winsloe (pop. 255) is staging a skeet-shooting contest. Covehead (pop. 300), obviously more cosmopolitan. is building a gokart track. All of the fun will be going on this summer. Prince Edward Island decided a couple of years ago to get its celebrating over with before the rest of the country by observing the hundredth anniversary of the first meeting of the Fathers of Confederation in Charlottetown in 1X64 and every town in the province has been assigned its role in the festivities.

Most of the action will be in Charlottetown.

It’s started there already, in fact, with a jolly New Year’s Day levee that included an oldtime town crier, a two-hundred-pound birthday cake and several hundred whooping islanders. One of the things they were whooping about was the thought of all the tourist and convention money that will be pouring into their city over the next twelve months. Charlottetown and vicinity will entertain IK) conventions in 1964, as well as the MacDonald's Briar curling championship, the International P lowing matches and a cultural festival that's going to last all summer. With its lush beaches and warm sea water, the island is already second to Banff as a Canadian summer tourist attraction and with all the centennial lures, islanders expect to be swamped with visitors and money.

The cultural festival will occur in the theatre that’s one of the five buildings — along with a library, museum, art gallery and meeting hall — that make up the handsome new $5.6 million Charlottetown memorial. The memorial

— in fact, the whole idea of the 1964 celebration —vyas the brainchild of Frank MacKinnon, principal of Charlottetown's Prince of Wales College (Maclean's reports, July 6, 1963). and the theatre is the memorial's showpiece. George Izenour, architectural consultant on New York's Lincoln Centre and Minneapolis' Guthrie Theatre, calls it “the best theatre of its size on the continent." its size varies: it has movable walls and can seat as few as 6X0 people, as many as 1,200. On stage, Mavor Moore, the festival's artistic director, has lined up a program that begins with the Canadian Drama Festival, ends with the Don Messer gang and includes in between. Glenn Gould. Wayne and Shuster, the Canadian Opera Company and a historical pageant with a cast of at least hundreds. One hundred and forty thousand seats are on sale; that’s about thirty thousand more than the total population of Eldon, Winsloe, Covehead and all the rest of the towns on the island put together.