The award-winning Festival will present over 25 concerts and community events from June to September.
March 16, 2023 (Kataganek/Kensington, PEI) After over a quarter of a century of bringing the very best of traditional, pop, classical, jazz, country, and world music to Historic St. Mary’s, Under the Spire Music Festival (USMF) is excited to announce the full lineup for our 2023 season. Since its founding in 1996, USMF has hosted some of the best Canadian performers and strives to present musical excellence spanning multiple styles. Most recently, the festival was awarded the 2023 Live Sector Award from MusicPEI which recognizes excellence in the live music sector on PEI.
Featuring over 25 concerts and community events, the 2023 season will see the return of some Festival favourites, as well as new performers and emerging artists. Live music connects us all, and opportunities to come together as a community are more important than ever. Step Inside the Music this summer at Historic St. Mary’s and experience the magic of live performance!
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 a few decades and USMF has since grown into a fully-fledged, internationally-renowned festival. Our goal is to build on the festival’s early legacy to create an extraordinary experience for Islanders and visitors alike. All are welcome to come witness some magic Under the Spire.
All summer concerts take place in Historic St. Mary’s on Hamilton Road in Indian River, PEI. The artists for Under the Spire Music Festival’s 2023 season include:
June 16 – Jeremy Dutcher
June 18 – Youth Legacy Concert
June 24 – Sirens (10th anniversary concert)
June 30 – Dan Mangan
July 2 – Christina Bouey & Pierre Andre Doucet
July 9 – Hard Times Orchestra
July 14 – Archetype Trad
July 16 – Isidore Quartet
July 21 – Logan Richard
July 23 – Happenstancers
July 29 – Jessica Gallant is Dolly Parton!
July 30 – Guillaume Villeneuve & Bertrand Cuiller
August 4–6 – Midsummer Magic with Robert Kortgaard, Peter Tiefenbach, Midori Marsh, Parker Clements, and Alex Halliday
August 4 – Midsummer Magic: Opera Favourites!
August 6 – Midsummer Magic: Summer Songs
August 9 – Island Proud: Pierce Clarke Band & Joce Reyome
August 10 – Kaia Kater
August 12 – The North Sound
August 16 – Island Proud: The County Line Romance & Shane Pendergast
August 18 – Ben Caplan
August 20 – Charles Richard-Hamelin
August 25 – Irish Mythen
August 27- Cowan-Cicchillitti
September 8 – Country Night: Mallory Johnson & Scott MacKay
September 10 – La Fiammata
The concerts this season fall under an overarching theme of echoes. “This year we tried to think about the story that threads itself through our performances,” says USMF’s Executive Director, Lindsay Connolly. “Echoes speaks to many facets of our festival: the echoes of the past in our heritage building; the echoes of musical legacy touched on by all performers, returning and new; or simply the echoes of music that bounce around our acoustically-unparalleled venue. Whether you come for a concert, community event, or just to experience our magnificent 120 year-old building, I guarantee you will fall in love with what we have to offer.”
USMF’s 28th season will mark the last with Robert Kortgaard at the helm as Artistic Advisor. Kortgaard has been actively involved with USMF since its early days, serving as its Artistic Director for 25 of the 28 years the Festival has been running. “We once again have an amazing lineup of performers making their way to the Historic St. Mary’s stage this summer, and there is no better place to gather than under the spire of our acoustically amazing, visually stunning venue on the shores of beautiful Malpeque Bay.” says Kortgaard. “It’s with a bit of bittersweetness that we announce the 28th season, as it will be the last one where I will be working behind the scenes. However, I’ll be at Historic St. Mary’s for years to come, both in the pews and on stage!”
In addition to concerts, Under the Spire Music Festival is committed to fostering a sense of togetherness through a series of community events, such as songwriting workshops, pre-concert talks, film nights, and more. The Festival has a variety of accessible community concerts and events scheduled for this summer which will be announced closer to the season.
The Festival has received many accolades throughout the years, including the Kensington and Area Chamber of Commerce award for Community Impact, several Music PEI Awards, including Livestream of the Year (2021), Event of the Year (2020) and for Achievement in Classical Music (2019); multiple 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 notably, listed as one of the top summer classical music festivals in Canada by CBC Music.
Tickets are available by clicking this link, by calling or visiting the Festival office in Kensington: 902-836-4933 or by phoning TicketPro directly at 888-311-9090.
Individuals and companies interested in partnerships are encouraged to contact Under the Spire Music Festival at email@example.com.