Heritage Players diversify beyond Fathers of Confederation

·2 min read
Cameron MacDonald, heritage co-ordinator at the Confederation Centre,  says the new program provides a more wholesome picture of P.E.I. history.  (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC - image credit)
Cameron MacDonald, heritage co-ordinator at the Confederation Centre, says the new program provides a more wholesome picture of P.E.I. history. (Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC - image credit)

The familiar troupe of actors in historical costumes will be back on the streets of Charlottetown this summer, but with a lot of changes.

The Confederation Players will now be known as the Heritage Players.

And they will be focused on topics other than Confederation.

The group took a two-year break during the COVID-19 pandemic to research a wider variety of stories to share a fuller picture of P.E.I.'s history.

"There was certainly a lot of, I guess, reshaping what we knew beforehand, not that it was inaccurate what we were telling before, but there was definitely areas where the blanks are now filled," said Cameron MacDonald, heritage co-ordinator at the Confederation  Centre.

"I think it's a more wholesome picture now that we are putting out."

Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC
Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC

The content and performances are still in development. They will focus on a series of tours in downtown Charlottetown, including one led by Acadian actor Guy Brun, who will share the story of P.E.I.'s Acadians from 1720 to today.

"Having the chance to really dig deep into the story of the Acadian heritage and culture to me is, like I said, it's just an honour to be able to do that and to share that with people," said Brun.

'Infamous Islanders'

Other topics include how fires shaped, then reshaped, the city of Charlottetown, and what MacDonald calls "infamous Islanders."

"The late 1700s, early 1800s, some of the things that go on here would make incredible movies and hopefully our storytelling will bring those to life I think a little bit more."

Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC
Jessica Doria-Brown/CBC

Organizers plan to come up with even more tours in the coming years, ideally including PEI's Indigenous history, as well as the stories and perspectives of Black Islanders.

"I think that's the goal, 100 per cent," MacDonald said.

"We really want to have this program be representative of everybody that lives here and has lived here, and we want to expand and have tours for everybody."

The new tours run from July 2 to Aug. 27.

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