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Click here for the latest news and updates.
Mark your calendars! We’re pleased to announce dates for the 20th edition of the Indian River Festival. Click here.
Welcome to a very special season of glorious live music at the Indian River Festival. This summer we celebrate our 20th year of bringing the very best Canadian artists to beautiful, summertime PEI. You’ll see that we have an amazing range of musical styles on offer, all chosen to honour and highlight the renowned acoustics of our cherished venue.
As I write this note in the middle of an odd, but I guess typical Canadian winter, I can say that this morning I saw photographs of a snow plough tunnelling through a country road just a few kilometers from Indian River. Friends on the Island are saying they haven’t seen this much snow for decades. Beautiful as it is, we want it to melt quickly so we can continue the construction of our new pavilion, an exquisitely designed modern structure that will be used for receptions, intermissions, music performances and talks. All will be ready to enhance your Indian River Festival experience this summer and for years to come.
As always, it takes enthusiasm, determination and generosity on the part of many, many people to make the magic of IRF come to life each summer. A huge thanks to all volunteers, staff and board members.The musicians who grace our stage are the finest in the land…many appear regularly in the most important concert halls of the world. We are grateful to them for sharing their artistry and love of a live music experience.
For our warm, welcoming audience we truly believe we have all the right elements in place for a delicious, exquisite 2015 season…the beauty and serenity of the countryside surrounding our stunning rural PEI venue and world class performances unite, so come often and help us celebrate!
Robert Kortgaard, Artistic Director
Funding received for new festival Pavilion/Annex
The Indian River Festival is pleased to announce that it has received $399,175 in government funds to upgrade its venue for audience members and artists alike. Funding has been provided by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Innovative Communities Fund ($299,175) and the Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development’s Island Community Fund ($100,000) administered by the Government of Prince Edward Island. Upgrades include the construction of a permanent outdoor pavilion, and to renovate the church’s annex to include new washroom facilities and an updated artist green room. Festival Chair, Pat Hobbs, says:
"This is a very exciting time for Indian River Festival. It has long been our dream to improve the concert experience for both our patrons and guest performers. By renovating the annex of St. Mary's and replacing the tent with a permanent pavilion, we will not only achieve our dream, but also provide an attractive venue for use by the local community. On behalf of the Board of Indian River Festival, I would like to offer our heartfelt appreciation for the financial support provided by ACOA and the Government of Prince Edward Island."
- Patricia Hobbs, Chair
"The Indian River Festival represents an important cultural tourism asset in Prince Edward Island. I am pleased to announce our Government’s investment which will help the Association make necessary upgrades to its facility to help attract more visitors and provide a more enjoyable experience for their patrons.”
- The Honourable Gail Shea, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, on behalf of the Honourable Rob Moore, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency)
"The Indian River Festival is a renowned musical event attracting musicians and concert goers from around the world to Prince Edward Island which has a positive impact on local business and our rural economy. The Province of Prince Edward Island is pleased to support the continued growth of the Indian River Music Festival."
- The Honourable Ron MacKinley, PEI Minister of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development
Click here to read the official news release.
BGHJ Architects / Montgomery Sisam Associated Architects. Rendering: Norm Li AG+I.
Comfort and Joy: The Indian River Festival Cookbook
Indian River Festival board members, volunteers and musicians have contributed their favourite recipes to create the "Comfort and Joy" Cookbook. All proceeds from this fundraising cookbook will go directly towards improving the comfort of our Festival audience...perhaps new seat cushions for the pews! These make excellent gifts or souvenirs!
CLICK HERE to purchase your cookbook online!
The Indian River Festival was the recent recipient of the Music PEI Award for Achievement in Classical Music. We are delighted to be recognized for our efforts to present the finest in classical music and artists and we will continue that commitment to excellence in 2014.
Recent Press Reviews
"In my life, I have oft been present in a theatre or other venue when standing ovations have been proferred by an audience as the sincerest form of appreciation said audience could offer to performers who have entertained them, and perhaps moved them and touched them during the preceding couple of hours.
The standing "O" should be a rare and special appreciation, reserved for very special tributes to artistry on stage. It is cheapened when it becomes a sort of Pavlovian response, due on every occasion, almost demanded from an audience as a ritual of attendance.
And I have been present on occasions when it was undeserved, when the performance on stage was pedestrian to the point of boredom.
But I have seldom participated in a standing "O" as spontaneous, as prolonged and so richly deserved as the one that erupted when the last notes of Carmina Burina faded away in the glorious ambience of St. Mary's Church at Indian River on the evening of July 3.
It is a remarkable and joyful thing to have the spirit lifted and caressed by a work of true artistic merit and worth. That is what happened communally that evening as the Indian River Festival launched its summer season."
Jack MacAndrew, The View From Here
"This summer-long event at a French Gothic church near the western PEI town of Kensington may have the best collection of musicans of any small festival in the country. There's a strong emphasis on the voice, with visits by sopranos Isabel Bayrakdarian, Nathalie Paulin and Suzie LeBlanc; baritone Peter Barrett; cabaret singer Patricia O'Callaghan; Punjabi ghazal singer Kiran Ahluwalia; vocal ensemble musica intima and Cape Breton singer-songwriter J.P. Cormier. There are also performances by the Gryphon Trio and a versatile supporting ensemble anchored by pianists Peter Tiefenbach and Robert Kortgaard, who steers the whole thing as artistic director."
Robert Everett-Green, Globe and Mail, June 2007
"St Mary's Church in Indian River, PEI is quite simply the best place to hear live classical music performed in Atlantic Canada."
Adrian Hoffman, CBC host and producer
A world of fine music, classical, jazz, maritime and world, is to be found at the Indian River Festival, held annually through July and August at St. Mary's Church, located in beautiful, picturesque Prince Edward Island (PEI). We are proud to say this is the 13th Anniversary of the Indian River Festival and we invite music lovers from all over the world to PEI, St. Mary's Church and truly a most spectacular music festival. Here at the Indian River Music Festival you will experience the cream of our local PEI and maritime performers as well as international, classical and jazz artists performing in the near-perfect acoustical setting of St. Mary's Church, designed by famed PEI architect, William Critchlow Harris, over a century ago.
You are invited to peruse the Indian River Music Festival catalog of fine concert offerings for this season. Make your selections and purchase your choices online. You may book using your Visa, Mastercard, Amex or Discover card through Paypal, a name you can trust. We also invite you to consider membership in the Indian River Festival and some of our exciting music festival packages as well as a visit to the historic venue of the music festival, St. Mary's Church.
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PEI Web Design
The Barra MacNeils
Cecilia String Quartet