CHARLOTTETOWN - After the week of weather that East Coasters have had, the message seems to be clearly written in the snow: We’re all in need of one blast of a good party.
© TC Media - The Guardian
Andrew MacDonald of the ECMA Award nominated Two Hours Traffic wakes up Guardian columnist Todd MacLean for the upcoming week-long party in Charlottetown. MacLean is going to need all the rest he can get.
And for all those with some of the most severe cases of spring cabin fever imaginable, the place to be will be right here, as East Coast Music Week 2014 will take Charlottetown by storm in just a matter of days.
Upwards of 350 artists and several hundred music industry delegates will be arriving to the snow-piled Charlottetown streets during the next two days, as official ECMW events begin Wednesday and carry on through to Sunday.
The last ECMAs to take place in Charlottetown were in 2011, which generated a much-welcomed boost of an estimated $1.6 million to the local economy in what is normally a slower economic time of the year for the Island.
And, as the commemorative year of 2014 has brought the ECMAs back to the Island sooner than usual, anticipation levels are high about the week that is to come.
“We are so excited,” said Andria Wilson, ECMA interim executive director.
“With it being such a huge year on the Island with everything that’s going on with 2014, we’re really excited to be kicking off the spring/summer excitement with so much amazing live music that’s going to be happening this week.”
Wilson went on to say that in terms of the Atlantic Canadian cities that take turns hosting the ECMAs, Charlottetown is always held in an especially high light.
“Charlottetown has always really been the artists’ favourite,” Wilson described.
“It’s really fantastic for all of our artists and also for all the international delegates that we bring in. There are so many great venues that are all within walking distance, so we can really deliver a high-quality show in all of these different spaces that house live music year-round.
“And then with the addition of the Convention Centre this year it’s just a dream,” Wilson added, as the newly-renovated Delta Prince Edward will be the main headquarters of ECMA activity this week.
A dozen official ECMW venues throughout downtown and the greater Charlottetown area will soon be filled with music — including multi-event host venues like Hunter’s Ale House, The Factory, Fishbones, The Old Triangle, The Guild, Globe World Flavours, Rodd Charlottetown Hotel, with a number of key shows taking place in the Delta Prince Edward Ballroom.
From Export Buyers Showcases, to Rising Star Showcases, to songwriters’ circles, to provincially-hosted stages of music, to late night dance parties galore, Charlottetown’s venues will be surging with the pulse of East Coast music.
In addition to the official events, as always, there are also unofficial events to take in, such as the 150-Hour Jam, hosted by Baba’s Lounge. Starting Tuesday morning and running straight through to Sunday, there will be live music 24 hours a day in Baba’s, in a non-stop musical extravaganza. The 2014 East Coast Music Week Kickoff Dance Party will be held at Hunter’s Ale House on Wednesday, running all night long from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.
Key artists to watch for this year are multi-nominated acts and artists like Ameila Curran, David Myles, Classified, Barra MacNeils, Old Man Luedecke, Dave Gunning, The Trews, and of course our pride-of-the-Island musicians like Tim Chaisson, Rose Cousins, Meaghan Blanchard, Whitney Rose, Jenn Grant, and Paper Lions.
And a key new event organizers are especially enthused about this year is the Musical Heroes CBC broadcast show at the Delta Prince Edward Ballroom this Thursday, wherein artists such as David Myles, Amelia Curran, Rose Cousins and Barra MacNeils will perform songs written by artists that have inspired them through the years.
“It’s a great opportunity to pay homage to these artists and to recognize that over the 26 year history (of the ECMAs) there have been some amazing careers that have been built, grown and exported,” said Wilson. “And now a number of these performers that you see here are having that experience now of travelling the world; and I think it’s a really great coming together of that ECMA history.”
Check out www.ecma.com for the full schedule, ticket info, and all the info on the awards and exciting events this week.
And tune in to Eastlink TV this Sunday night to catch the broadcast of the 2014 East Coast Music Awards Gala, or enjoy your chance to see it live at the Delta Prince Edward Ballroom, on Sunday at 8 p.m.
Yes, indeed: Put away those winter boots, and get out your dancing shoes – because East Coast Music Week 2014 is here.