Prince Edward Island

  • population: 145,211
  • capital city: Charlottetown
  • music revenue: $30.6 million yearly
  • musical facts: 349 businesses and 805 artists
  • area: Canada’s smallest province at 5,660 sq. km.
  • PEI has over 800 kilometers of red sandy beaches – some of the best in the world

PEI has long been known for being a hotbed of fiddle and traditional music. While the majority are roots artists, there is also a thriving indie pop/rock scene, a healthy jazz core, as well as many other genres represented.

Music PEI - A voice for island music


Music PEI began in 2001 as the Prince Edward Island Music Awards Association, acting as an advocate for the Island music industry and as a representative at the national table.

Music PEI began in 2001 as the Prince Edward Island Music Awards Association, acting as an advocate for the Island music industry and a representative at the national table.

Music PEI has seen tremendous growth since its inception in 2007, with a 300% increase in exporting Island artists – an economic necessity in a province of only 140,000.

Music PEI administers a Funding Program designed to encourage growth by providing financial assistance to the industry at various levels of an artist’s or industry professional’s careers. This funding is made possible through the assistance of the PEI Provincial Government Department of Culture.

Each of these Music PEI-led events is designed to create business development opportunities for members with a focus on professional development and export opportunities:

  • Credit Union May Run Music Festival – a multi-genre festival featuring 70 artists from PEI and across Canada
  • Bell Aliant Canadian Song Conference – brings international music supervisors, publishers and producers together and includes the Canadian Song Challenge project
  • Showcase PEI – brings industry professional from around the world to PEI for an annual buyers conference. Travel subsidies are available for accredited industry professionals

Music PEI is an industry member of the East Coast Music Association.

Music PEI logo

Explore the Province of Prince Edward Island

PEI Jazz and Blues Festival

The most endearing trait about our music community is that it is tightly knit and extremely supportive. There is a strong Acadian culture, together with Scottish and Irish traditional music. Local ‘Ceilidhs’ are extremely popular with the tourists in the summer and can be found at community halls.

There are also a large number of venues for the size of our population. The number of venues increases in the summer, as some are not open year round. All the venues are in a reasonably close radius and easy to get to. After all, we’re an island of less than 250 km. long and 60 km. at its widest.

Prince Edward Island is easily accessible from the mainland. The 13 km. Confederation Bridge spans the Northumberland Strait and the Charlettown Airport has regularly scheduled national and international flights.

Rock shows in the bars and clubs are ideal for night-owls, with the opening act often not starting until 11:30pm and Charlottetown has an abundance of great restaurants and coffee shops and b&b accommodation.

For more general information about the Province of Prince Edward Island, please visit:

Cavendish Beach Music Festival

Key Regions in the Province of Prince Edward Island

Charlottetown population 35,000

Key venues/clubs: Confederation Centre of the Arts, The Mack, PEI Brewing Company, Hunter’s Ale House, Fishbones, The Guild, John Browns, The Old Triangle, The Olde Dublin, Baba’s Lounge, Peakes Quay: PEI Convention Centre, The Eastlink Centre, The Wave, Marc’s Lounge

Key Radio: CBC Radio 1 Charlottetown; Ocean 100; Hot 105.5; CFCY-FM; Q93

Universities and Colleges: University of Prince Edward Island; Holland College

Summerside population 14,700

Key venues/clubs: Credit Union Place, Harbourfront Theatre

Key radio: Spud FM

Colleges and universities: Holland College

PEI's major festivals

PEI Jazz & Blues Festival, PEI

Over 10 years old and still going strong, the TD PEI Jazz & Blues Festival features a lineup of Juno Award winners and music legends. Local venues include St. Paul’s Anglican Church, the Confederation Landing Tent and The Pourhouse.

Take in a workshop or a free noon-hour concert, check out the big stage and the intimate church, then brace yourself for the late-night blowout.

The 2015 lineup included: David Wilcox, Christine Campbell, Sam Moon, Matt Minglewood, Phil Dwyer Trio, and Jane Bunnett & Maqueque.

May Run Music Festival

http://www.mayrunmusicfest.comVarious locations, PE

The May Run (May long weekend) festival features over 70 artists from PEI and across Canada. Reoccuring events are the Songwriter’s Concert, the Country Jubilee and the House of Rock.

Running in tandem with the Bell Aliant Canadian Song Conference, the event celebrates the talents of P.E.I.’s artists while featuring accomplished acts from across Canada.

The Indian River Festival Indian River, PEI

With over 20 years under its belt, the Indian River Festival offers a summer long series of concerts set in historic St. Mary’s Church, one of the most acoustically perfect venues to be found anywhere.

Experience classical, maritime, jazz, folk/roots, and choral music featuring the very best in Canadian artists.

The festival’s new outdoor pavilion is now open one hour prior to show time and at intermission– audience members are invited to enjoy the space and grab some refreshments before the show!

The eclectic 2015 summer season included: the Barra MacNeils, Sarah Harmer, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Ensemble Polaris, Pallade Musica, Amelia Curran, Julie Nesrallah & Caroline Leonardelli, Studio de musique ancienne de Montréal .

Cavendish Beach Music Festival Beach, PEI

What was once a cow pasture in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, is now the home of the largest multi-day outdoor music festival in Atlantic Canada – the Cavendish Beach Music Festival.

More than 70,000 visitors annually flock to the festival for the biggest names in country music, camping, dining, the warmest waters north of the Carolinas, and to create memories that last a lifetime.

Past performers have included: Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Lady Antebellum, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Toby Keith, Tim McGraw, Hunter Hayes, Rascal Flatts, and country legends Alabama and Reba.

The 2016 Cavendish Beach Music Festival will be held from July 8-10.

Festival of Small Halls

http://www.smallhalls.comVarious locations, PE

The Festival of Small Halls is an award-winning festival that takes place in multiple small venues across Prince Edward Island, Canada’s smallest province.

What started as a small idea, in 2008, has grown to become an international force, bringing talent from across the world to picturesque PEI for locals and tourists alike to enjoy.

The 2014 festival was held over 14 days in June 9, with a line-up of 160 musicians, 14 storytellers and 6 dancers performing in over 40 Island community halls.

Local and imported artists that have played the festival include: Red Moon Road, Catherine MacLellan, Lennie Gallant, Richard Wood, Meaghan Blanchard, Russell deCarle, Tim Edey, Vishtèn, and Breabach.

This year’s festival will be June 12-25, 2016.

PEI Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival Bay, NB

This long-time annual event features 3 days of local, regional and international bluegrass artists, two days of acoustic instrument workshops, onsite concessions and fun for the whole family.

Festival alumni include: The Lonesome River Band, The Clay Hess Band, The Spinney Brothers, Audie Blaylock & Redline, Shannon & Heather Slaughter, Art Stevenson & Highwater, The Newton-Thomas Band, Remington Ryde, and The Smith Family.

The 31st Annual PEI Bluegrass and Old Time Music Festival will be held July 1-3, 2016 at The Festival Grounds in Rollo Bay, PEI.

PEI music biz news