Outdoor Amphitheatre

Indigenous stories, Island Steps and Carribean dance

Dynamic shows from Island performers will bring lively dance and music to downtown Charlottetown this summer at Confederation Centre of the Arts. The 2024 Charlottetown Festival will feature two productions at the Centre’s Outdoor Amphitheatre, a venue known for accessible and family-friendly performances. 

The company of Mi’kmaq Voices, 2022 (above) and the company of Island Steps, 2024
Photo by Dave Brosha

Celebrating over a decade as Atlantic Canada’s premier Indigenous theatre company, the Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors return to The Charlottetown Festival for the fourth year with the new show Rhythms and Stories of the Red Earth. The performance will share the history of Indigenous peoples on Epekwitk (Prince Edward Island) through stories, songs and beautiful traditional dance. This fun and interactive show features colourful regalia, traditional instruments, and teachings for all ages. Performances run at noon on select dates from July 4–26. 

The Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors company includes Caleb Acorn, Keegan Bernard, Rory Cote, Tristan Harrison, Mike Julian, Britt Lush, Sean Lush, Alex Maclean, Julie Pellissier-Lush, and Richard Pellissier-Lush. They are joined by several local youth, including Caseon Acorn, Makayla Bernard, Warren Bernard, Stakayla Brown, Ellie Bourque, Liam Bourque, Sophia Bourque, Esme Davidson, Paisley Labobe, Talia Labobe, Miah Lush, Aandeg MacDonald, Jaylynn Tuplin, Bailey Sark, Layla Sark, Taite Wooldridge, and Taya Wooldridge. 

In August, the acclaimed Roberts Academy of Dance and Xclusiv Crew will collaborate for the new production Island Steps. This high-energy dance show explores the fusion of traditional Island step with Caribbean and South American movement, demonstrating how diverse cultures can come together and share their love for dance. Performances run at noon on select dates from August 1–30.

The company of Island Steps features dancers from both groups, including Margaret Burns, Brigitte Carroll, Joe Dames, Elan Mackey, Charlie MacLaren, Abigail McCarthy, Maddie Mossey, Alex Rodriguez, Hope Smith, and Reequal Smith. The show is choreographed by Juliette Roberts, owner of Roberts Academy of Dance, and Dawn Ward-Dames, co-director of Xclusiv Crew and associate artistic director at Confederation Centre of the Arts. 

Dancers are preparing for the performance by training in each other’s disciplines, with step dancers embracing Caribbean movement and vice-versa. 

Admission to both performances at the Outdoor Amphitheatre is free, with donations welcome.