Confederation Player Dylan Gaudet on the Charlottetown Waterfront

Riding the Rails

Confederation Players celebrate 100 years of CN Rail

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Confederation Players are marking two milestones this summer: the 100th anniversary of their program sponsor, CN Rail, and the 30th anniversary of the Players program itself.

Founded in 1989 to mark the 125th anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, the Players programs have offered historic vignettes, guided walking tours, Victorian songs, croquet games with tourists, and improvised street encounters to thousands of tourists in Downtown Charlottetown.

The troupe employs about a dozen young people from PEI and elsewhere, and since 2012, has been a key part of Confederation Centre of the Arts’ (CCOA) arts education and heritage offerings. More than 250 young people from across Canada have taken part in the youth leadership program to date.

CN came on board as major program sponsor in 2017, launching special Canada 150 and rail-themed celebrations with the Players in cities across Canada. Now, to highlight CN’s own 100th anniversary, the troupe will return to Ottawa and Montreal to perform on Parliament Hill and participate in the centenary celebrations.

This year’s troupe includes a mix of new and returning college-age performers who will bring Canada and the Island’s histories to life all summer and into the fall. Led by artistic supervisor Cameron MacDonald, this year’s troupe includes returnees Guy Brun, Dylan Gaudet, Grace Hickey, Jim McClean, Eden McFadden, Sam Rainnie, and Jacob Rollwage. New players are Connor Briggs, Hannah McGaughey, Mitchell McNally, and Alexandra Sorenson.

The Players launch their summer season at CCOA on June 29, and will offer two enhanced public walking tours this summer. The Great George Experience guides tourists from the city’s stunning waterfront to Queen Square and includes historic vignettes and appearances from half a dozen different performers. The Ghost Walk returns this summer, offered every Friday evening, and delving into the darker side of Island history, including tales of unsolved murders, ghost ships on the harbour, and even a famous execution. All tours are family-friendly and the Great George is available in French and English. For full program details, times, and to book walking tour tickets, visit confederationcentre.com.