After an unnaturally quiet year which saw the live events industry shuttered, music will once again return to the halls of Historic St. Mary’s. The Indian River Festival (IRF) is excited to announce its 2021 line-up, coming a year after the beloved annual concert series was forced to cancel its regular season due to COVID-19. The Festival showcases the best in folk, jazz, blues, roots, classical, choral, traditional and contemporary music all in the acoustically unparalleled venue of Historic St. Mary’s Church in Indian River, Prince Edward Island. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, Indian River Festival plans to come back stronger than ever. And what a year to be back—the Festival is celebrating its 25th anniversary this very summer!
The Indian River Festival is thrilled to still create musical memories for our audiences after a quarter of a century. The Festival began as a few stand-alone concerts to save Historic St. Mary’s; soon after, it grew into a small concert series called Midsummer Magic. Fast forward 25 years and we have since grown into a fully-fledged, internationally-renowned festival. Although we have moved past the days of Midsummer Magic, that is exactly the legacy we want to build on this milestone year: to create an extraordinary, magical experience for all Islanders.
In order to keep patrons safe and comfortable, this year the Festival will be offering a pared-down concert schedule compared to regular seasons (approximately 11 concerts throughout the summer, plus various community events). But, as they say, less is more—the Festival is extremely excited to offer a line-up featuring artists based on Prince Edward Island. There is no better time to celebrate our province’s musical heritage than this milestone year for the Festival. Our 25th anniversary season will shine the spotlight on Island artists, paying homage both to the rich musical history of PEI and the committed group of Islanders who saved Historic St. Mary’s from demolition and brought the Indian River Festival to life.
The lineup of artists for the Indian River Festival’s 25th Anniversary season in summer 2021 includes:
June 20 3pm Youth Legacy Concert
June 25 7:30pm Rose Cousins
June 27 3pm Sirens here
July 9 Liam Corcoran 7:30
July 11 Members of the PEISO 3pm
July 23 Singer Songwriter Circle: Meaghan Blanchard, Logan Richard, Emmet MacLellan
July 25th Christina Bouey and Magdalena von Eccher
August 6 Gordie Mackeeman & His Rhythm Boys
August 8 Afternoon Arias: Nicole Bellamy, piano. Nathan Keoughan, Baritone. Andrea Núñez, soprano. Jillian Clow mezzosoprano, Sebastien Comtois tenor.
August 20 Catherine MacLellan
August 22 Piano Piano Piano: Magdalena von Eccher, Max Keenlyside, Glen Montgomery
September 10 Irish Mythen
“There’s no more appropriate way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Indian River Festival than to delight in the wealth of talent on the Island and proudly present this artistic excellence in multiple musical genres at our cherished venue,” says IRF’s Artistic Director, Robert Korgaard. “The beauty of the space and surrounding countryside, the renowned acoustics, and the warm welcome from our Festival family of volunteers and staff, will carry on the long-standing tradition of the “IRF Experience” as we, with great optimism, shake off the haze and concerns of recent times and remember that there’s nothing better for the soul than a shared, live music experience. We look forward to welcoming you this summer!”
All summer concerts take place in St. Marys’ Church on Hamilton Road in Indian River. Public Health guidelines due to COVID-19—including mask policy, arrival times, seating arrangements, pre-concert screenings, and sanitary rules—will be communicated to ticket-holders prior to each performance. Working together with provincial regulations, audiences will look a little different at the festival this year. Safety is our number one priority, and we will ensure our audiences and artists feel safe enough to enjoy the beauty of live music in the incredible St. Mary’s.
In addition to concerts, Indian River Festival is committed to fostering a sense of togetherness through a series of community events, such as songwriting workshops, masterclasses, and more. We will also be bringing back a fan-favourite: “Open Stage” where community members are invited to take to the stage and feel the musical magic of Historic St. Mary’s for themselves! Whether you’re a pianist, singer, whistler, storyteller, opera singer, or ukulele player, your sound will be beautifully amplified by the unique architectural design of our world-famous venue.
The Festival has received many accolades throughout the years, including two Music PEI Awards for Event of the Year and for Achievement in Classical Music; several ECMA nominations for event and venue of the year; twice named in the Globe and Mail as one of the best small summer classical music festivals in Canada; and most recently, it was listed as one of the top summer classical music festivals in Canada by CBC Music.
“Supporting local has never sounded so good,” says IRF’s Executive Director, Lindsay Connolly. “There has always been an extraordinary level of talent on the Island, and we are honoured to feature many established and emerging artists this summer. It feels even more special to be focusing on Island artists because this is our 25th anniversary season! The festival will look different this year as we will be following all provincial COVID-19 guidelines, but it won’t change the beauty of live music or the special environment of St. Mary’s. We can’t wait to welcome you back for what will surely be a magical summer!”
This season, we are offering a special early bird incentive for 15% off tickets until May 17th! Tickets go on sale on May 3rd!
For more information on IRF 2021, visit our website: www.IndianRiverFestival.com
Tickets are available via the IndianRiverFestival.com website, or by calling or visiting the Festival office in Kensington: 902-836-4933.
Individuals and companies interested in partnerships are encouraged to contact the Indian River Festival directly at email@example.com.
About Indian River Festival:
Presented by the Confederation Bridge, the Indian River Festival offers a summer long series of concerts in a magnificent heritage church located in idyllic rural Prince Edward Island. The internationally recognized Festival has been twice named by the Globe and Mail as one of the best summer music festivals in Canada and presents outstanding performances from a dynamic mix of some of the biggest names in Canadian music and exciting emerging talents. Now entering its 25th season in 2021, this summer-long festival attracts thousands of music lovers annually to the acoustically perfect St. Mary’s Church, idyllically set overlooking beautiful Malpeque Bay, to experience the very best in folk, blues, jazz, classical, traditional, contemporary, and world music.