The Centre for All Canadians

2023 Canada Winter Games IllumiNATION Festival coming to Confederation Centre of the Arts

– Performances from Joel Plaskett Emergency, Lennie Gallant, and more –

January 30, 2023 – Prince Edward Island is set to welcome thousands of visitors for the 2023 Canada Winter Games, and Confederation Centre of the Arts is thrilled to collaborate on a variety of cultural activities.

Joel Plaskett Emergency

As an official partner of the Games, the Centre will host several events as part of IllumiNATION Festival – a celebration of Island and Canadian arts and culture. The Centre is also involved in the opening and closing ceremonies of the Games; carpenters and a scenic artist are building scenery elements for the stages at Eastlink Centre.

“Culture and sport have so much in common – we share the magic of bringing people together to celebrate human potential, outstanding talent, and the strength of the human spirit,” says Steve Bellamy, CEO of Confederation Centre of the Arts. “All of us at the Centre are grateful to the 2023 Canada Winter Games athletes and organizers for bringing the magic to Prince Edward Island, where sport and culture are so strong. We’re honoured to be a partner in the Games and looking forward to the celebration.”

All IllumiNATION Festival events at Confederation Centre of the Arts are free to attend, including an exhibition that spotlights Island athletes. Now on view in the Centre’s Frederic S. and Ogden Martin Concourse Gallery on, It’s More Than Sports: A Celebration of BIPOC Athletes on Prince Edward Island gives a glimpse into what sport could be in the future. Using historical photos and artifacts, contemporary photographs by Mi’kmaw photographer Patricia Bourque, drawings from Island children, and a vision statement for BIPOC sports on P.E.I., this exhibition draws attention to the often unacknowledged and powerful contribution of BIPOC peoples to the Island sporting community. The exhibition is organized by BIPOC USHR, with support from the 2023 Canada Winter Games.

There will also be several live performances at the Centre’s Sobey Family Theatre and The Mack:

February 21: Searching for Abegweit: The Island Songs and Stories of Lennie Gallant | Sobey Family Theatre
February 22: Alicia Toner and Music PEI present Northern Lights: Reimagining the Canadian Songbook, with support act Singing Strings | Sobey Family Theatre
February 23: Scott Parsons presents: The Story of PEI’s Black Athletes through Stories and Song | The Mack
February 24: Janet McGarry & Friends | The Mack
February 25: Jack Pine Folk Club | The Mack
February 28: Joel Plaskett Emergency present Ashtray Rock | Sobey Family Theatre
March 1: SAMQWAN with supporting act 24 Strong | Sobey Family Theatre

SAMQWAN. Photo by Corey Katz.

Free tickets are available now and can be booked online at, via phone at 1-800-565-0278, or in person at the Centre’s box office. For the full IllumiNATION Festival lineup, visit



Photo cutlines: Joel Plaskett Emergency, photo courtesy of Joel Plaskett. // SAMQWAN photo by Corey Katz.

About the 2023 Canada Winter Games in Prince Edward Island:
From February 18 – March 5, 2023, the Games will bring together 3,600 athletes, managers, and coaches, across 20 different sports, for the largest multi-sport event in the country. With a forecasted economic impact of over $100 million, the 29th edition of the Canada Games will be the largest event hosted in Prince Edward Island’s history.

Media Contacts:

Emily McMahon
Communications Manager, Confederation Centre of the Arts
[email protected] | 902-628-6135

Lexi Drummond
Manager, Marketing & Communications, 2023 Canada Winter Games Host Society
[email protected]

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What are Relaxed Performances?


Sometimes referred to as sensory-friendly experiences, Relaxed Performances give the opportunity for those with various sensitivities towards sensory stimuli to experience and enjoy live theatre.

These performances will be designed in a way to be more comfortable for audience members who may experience anxiety or are not comfortable with some aspects of a traditional theatre setting. This can include people on the Autism Spectrum and their families; those with sensory and communicative disorders or learning disabilities; people with Tourette’s syndrome; someone who might need to move often due to chronic pain or to use the facilities; or even parents with toddlers.



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