With Province House out of commission for the next few years due to repairs, a replica of the Confederation Chamber is open to the public at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

The Story of Confederation, which opened Friday, includes new tours from the Confederation Players, a film from Parks Canada and the replica chamber.

"You know, some people I've talked to across the country were surprised to find out that the birth of the nation actually happened here in little Prince Edward Island," said Egmont MP Gail Shea, who was on hand for the opening.

She says the tourism campaign for the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference last year was a success and this version of the Confederation Chamber is continuing that campaign.

The exhibit is getting just under $1 million from the federal government.

Exact duplicate

"This is a way to continue to tell our story, the important role that we have played in the birth of this nation," said Shea.

The Confederation Chamber replica aims to be an exact duplicate.

"Everything from the artwork to the curtains was handcrafted for this event. It took about three months, and it was all made right here on the Island," said Mike Cochrane, Confederation Centre COO.

"We used all local artisans and craft people to ensure that those are the people that made it 150 years ago, so it's kind of key to us to make sure that those same processes was engaged again."

The province's coat of arms above the speaker's chair is an artifact, and so are the gasoliers that hang from the ceilings.

"You can't replicate those things, so they're beautiful in this space. We got them on loan from Parks Canada, and they're hanging from the ceiling and also on loan from the province of P.E.I. It's nice to be able to have original artifacts."

The exhibit is now open Monday to Saturday.