In 1996, a group of oyster lovers gathered at the Charlottetown Yacht Club for the first ever PEI Shellfish Festival. Twenty years later, the Festival has become a world-renowned international culinary event featuring shuckers & chefs from across the globe, local growers & chefs, celebrity chefs & thousands of people who gather in Charlottetown annually to celebrate Prince Edward Island Shellfish, our people and our culture.
Come Shellebrate! Charlottetown will come alive over the course of 4 days this September to celebrate two decades of shellfish. The Festival will celebrate all things culinary during the day and then crank it up at night as it transforms into Atlantic Canada’s largest and most lively kitchen party. The 20th Anniversary will not disappoint; shellfish fans are in for the biggest party yet!
On Thursday, September 17th, the Festival kicks off with Feast & Frolic presented by PEI Fisherman’s Association. This Fall Flavours Signature Event will feature the comedic acts of Patrick Ledwell paired up with Canada’s Culinary Goddess, Chef Lynn Crawford. Not only is she a crowd favourite, she plans on “Pitchin’ In” with the chefs and students of the Culinary Institute of Canada to serve up an amazing smorgasbord of PEI Shellfish. PEI Shellfish may be the star attraction, but don’t underestimate the fun and laughs from this dynamic duo. Tickets have sold out for the past 4 years and are $153.00 plus taxes and service fees.
On Friday and Sunday, Food Network Canada’s Chef Lynn Crawford will return to the stage with 2 unique and interactive shellfish demonstrations. Ricardo will be making his PEI Debut on Saturday, September 19th. Ricardo is a cook, an author, a television personality and a successful entrepreneur. Festival-goers can expect a taste of his contemporary family cooking he is well known for.
The Garland Canada International Chef Challenge will have a new home in the Festival tent. A Kitchen Stadium will be created to host 2 heats on Friday and the semi-final round on Saturday. The finals will take place on the main stage on Sunday afternoon. Twelve international chefs will compete in front of a live audience for $10,000 cash. The competition will be hosted by Chef Alain Bosse and Rob Barry and judged by Chef Lynn Crawford, Chef Ned Bell and Chef Donna Dooher. When the Kitchen Stadium is not hosting the competition it will be transformed into a demo stage with shellfish tastings from our partners.
On Sunday afternoon, the grand finale will be “the big birthday bash” with featured entertainment still to be announced. Chef Lynn will host the celebration.
During the weekend, over $26,000 in cash prizes will be handed out at the following competitions:
Shiny Sea PEI Oyster Shucking Championship
Raspberry Point International Oyster Shucking Championship
PEI Potato Chowder Championship
International Chowder Championship
Tie One on Mussel Competition
Garland Canada International Chef Challenge
Oyster Grower of the Year
The Festival is also pleased to announce a new major partnership with Sobeys and the AIR MILES Reward Program. AIR MILES Collectors will receive exclusive privileges at the Festival, just for bringing their AIR MILES card, including reserved parking and access to a VIP lounge. Festival tickets will be available for purchase to Collectors for two weeks prior to general sale and collectors can use their Air Miles for Festival passes.
Tickets are available exclusively to AIR MILES Collectors starting May 14th at www.airmiles.ca/events. Tickets to the general public go on sale starting May 29th. Advance Tickets are $153 for Feast and Frolic; $27.50 for Weekend Passes; $13.25 for Festival Day Passes. All tickets are subject to taxes and services fees. Get your tickets in advance as prices increase for on-site sales.
For more information call 1-866-955-2003 or www.peishellfish.com
The PEI International Shellfish Festival is a joint effort of the PEI Aquaculture Alliance and the PEI Shellfish Association
The average length of stay is 2.24 nights
The total economic impact of the 2013 Festival was $1,540,312
Over 7,000 patrons attend the Shellfish Festival annually
The Festival is supported by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Prince Edward Island Department of Tourism and Culture, Department of Agriculture & Forestry, Department of Innovation and Advanced Learning, Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture and Rural Development, the City of Charlottetown and the City of Chalottetown Special Events Reserve Fund.
The PEI International Shellfish Festival is a Fall Flavours Signature Event. Fall Flavours is a month-long culinary event taking place during the month of September highlighting authentic Prince Edward Island tastes & traditions.
Tickets are available online www.peishellfish.com, at the Eastlink Centre Box Office or by calling 1 866 955 2003
“This year we will celebrate and share this significant milestone with all Islanders, the industry and our many private and public sector partners who have helped make the Prince Edward Island International Shellfish Festival the success that it is today. We’re committed to making this the biggest one yet. With our exciting new partnership with Air Miles and Sobeys and a national advertising campaign with Food Network Canada, we’re anticipating a record number of visitors to attend the Festival.”
– Liam Dolan, Festival Chair
“The Prince Edward Island International Shellfish Festival is one of the most important annual tourism events on the Island. It not only showcases the high quality shellfish available in our waters, but it also puts our unique Island culture on display; our music, our food and our world famous Island hospitality. It routinely draws thousands of visitors to the Island in the latter part of the tourism season and it’s a big reason why we are Canada’s Food Island. I wish organizers all the best on the 20th anniversary of the festival.”
-Minister of Tourism and Culture Robert Henderson
“With an amazing showcase of musical and culinary talents, and, of course, the Island’s world-renowned seafood as the main feature, it’s no surprise that the International Shellfish Festival continues to be a huge success 20 years after its inception. The festival is a wonderful tradition for the City of Charlottetown, and one that we’re proud to be a part of. The organizers put a tremendous amount of work into this event year after year, so we encourage all Islanders and visitors to join us in congratulating them on the 20th anniversary and join in the celebrations by attending the festival in September.”
– City of Charlottetown Mayor Clifford Lee
“AIR MILES is so excited to team up with our friends at Sobeys and partner with the Prince Edward Island International Shellfish Festival. Our Collectors are extremely passionate about food and being able to offer them exclusive benefits to this event was very important to us. We are sure this will be a celebration not to be missed!”
– Rachel MacQueen, Vice President, Marketing, AIR MILES Reward Program
“As a strong supporter of local growers and producers, including those that provide us with delicious PEI shellfish, Sobeys is excited to partner with AIR MILES to sponsor this event that celebrates food, local ingredients, and the expertise of many talented chefs. The Festival provides the perfect opportunity to bring world-famous products to both residents and tourists through world-class events and we are proud to be at the table for the 20th anniversary.”
– Jason Tutty, Director of Marketing, Sobeys Atlantic
PEI International Shellfish Festival
Versatile Management Group