Music PEI Announces Participants for 2013 Artist Exchange Program

Published On: July 23rd, 2013Categories: News0 Comments

Music PEI is very proud to announce that the two participants selected for the second annual Artist Exchange Program are Prince Edward Island’s Meaghan Blanchard and England’s Dan Walsh. The Artist Exchange Program is a unique partnership forged between Music PEI (Prince Edward Island’s music industry association) and the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS), an organisation with a 100 year history. The partnership developed as a result of Music PEI’s international export development programs supported by the PEI Provincial Government, ACOA, and FACTOR.

Neil Pearson is the Artists’ Development and Programming Manager of the English Folk Dance and Song Society and had this to say. “We’re proud to be involved in the artistic exchange program with Music PEI, the chance for us to work with artists in a creative exchange that leads to tours and an industry showcase in both Canada and England is a unique opportunity, and one that delivers genuine outcomes for the selected artists.”

The program will begin in mid-September with Dan traveling to Prince Edward Island, where the two artists will be spending three days together collaborating and writing before embarking on the “Maritimes To England Tour”. This tour will take the two artists on an eight day trek across all three maritime provinces where they will play seven shows including performances at Showcase PEI. The second part of the partnership will take place in England in 2014 and will include another multiple date tour across England as well a showcase at the English Folk Expo conference.

The Maritimes to England Tour’s first stop is at The Albert & Crown in Alberton on September 21st, which will be followed by performances at Harmony House on the 22nd, The deCoste Centre in Pictou on the 24th, The Marigold Centre in Truro on the 25th, The Carleton in Halifax on the 26th, Wilser’s Room in Fredericton on the 27th, and The Empress Theatre in Moncton for the big finale on the 28th.

Rob Oakie, Executive Director of Music PEI said “The tour is an excellent opportunity for artists to expand their fan-base internationally and further develop their careers. Music PEI is thrilled not only to be able to develop such a program in cooperation with a prestigious organisation like EFDSS, but also to be able to offer the opportunity to see two talented young artists in a collaborative setting developing new material and relationships.”

Dan Walsh, touted as one of the finest banjo players in the UK as well as being a superb singer, songwriter and guitarist, is described as ‘the real deal’ (Uncut) and ‘taking the banjo into the stratosphere’ (Froots) with a unique and eclectic style taking in folk, funk, bluegrass, jazz, rock and even Arabic. Dan’s new album “The Same But Different” has received fantastic reviews and radio play on both sides of the Atlantic.

Meaghan Blanchard, a 24 year old singer/songwriter from Hunter River PEI, is the winner of multiple Music PEI awards as well as an ECMA for her most recent album “Chasin’ Lonely Again”. She draws a lot of her inspiration for performing and songwriting from her grandparents who helped fuel her dreams and inspired her to take on the challenges of becoming a successful performing singer/songwriter. Her third album ”She’s Gonna Fly”, which was produced by John Keane at his studio in Athens GA, will be released in September 2013, and has already received significant radio play.


The Albert and Crown

Harmony House

deCoste Centre

Marigold Centre

The Carleton

Wilser Room

The Empress

Music PEI’s sixth annual Showcase PEI conference brings together top level buyers and industry professionals from the international music community to experience performances by Prince Edward Island’s top exporting and export-ready artists. The conference has generated approximately three quarters of a million dollars in work for Island artists since 2008, and will take place this year from September 22 – 25. The 2012 conference attracted 35 buyers from 6 different countries and has yielded over $200,000 in work for PEI artists.

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