Prince Edward Island is known as the birthplace of Confederation. In 1864, the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Québec met in Charlottetown to form the new nation. It was a richly eventful time. You can relive the drama by visiting Province House and Founders’ Hall, and by joining any number of tours. But archaeologists have found evidence of early Mi’kmaq settlement that dates thousands of years before the historic Charlottetown Conference.
Early European settlers arrived mainly from Scotland, England and Ireland and their influence is obvious in the names found on mailboxes, the lilting accent of the people and the omnipresent Celtic music. The Island’s Acadians have their roots in France and a visit to La Région Évangéline will introduce you to their tumultuous history. This blend of cultures and heritage is represented in a lively and entertaining way in the small halls across the province. Ceilidhs (a Gaelic word for party or a good time), community concerts and Acadian supper theatre are wonderful introductions to PEI cultural traditions.
The Island Way of Life fosters creativity in its people, and as you explore PEI, you will soon understand why so many artists find inspiration in the gentle Island landscape. Nature forms the foundation of fine creations such as earthy pottery in Breadalbane, the graceful lines of contemporary woodwork in Rustico, or colourful paintings of Island scenes throughout PEI. A PEI Studio Tour offers you the chance to watch artisans at work. Or perhaps you will put your own talents to the test when you sign up for one of our Once in a Lifetime Experiences.
Looking for sophisticated glass in a stylish setting? We have it. Want some hand-knit mittens made from Island wool? Got that too. How about a painting or print that captures the special Island light? Yes, of course. The gifts and souvenirs available on Prince Edward Island vary as widely as the waves on the ocean. We hope the ones you take home will remind you of your special vacation on our gentle Island.