With candidates in place, P.E.I.'s Progressive Conservative Party is now looking to build some excitement as it heads towards its Oct. 20 leadership convention.

Nominations for the leadership closed Friday with two names in the ring: Stratford-Kinlock MLA James Aylward and Rustico-Emerald MLA Brad Trivers.

Andy Walker, chair of the volunteer leadership organizing committee, said there was a lot of talk about other candidates, but it came down to two in the end.

"There were certainly a lot of people approached and there was significant interest shown," said Walker.

"I think it would have been interesting to have another person involved, especially if he or she was from Prince County, because that's one area that we have had few candidates from in the last few years."

Walker said there has been a lot of interest in the race so far, and the party has lined up a series of events to keep interest growing. That includes a series of leadership forums where people will have an opportunity to ask the candidates questions about their vision of the future of the province.

  • Sept. 12, CUP, Summerside.
  • Sept. 19, Legion, Bloomfield.
  • Sept. 26, Holland College, Charlottetown.
  • Oct. 4, Brudenell Resort.

All of the events will be livestreamed.

New convention format

Party members will also have a number of opportunities to vote ahead of the convention at the Brudenell Resort.

Polls will open for the first time on Oct. 7 in five locations across the province, then again on Oct. 14. There will be one last pre-convention poll on Oct. 17 in Charlottetown.

The convention itself will be a shorter event than in past years, all condensed into one evening.

"It's not the day and age when people can spend their whole weekend at a political event," said Walker.

"We want to give people an opportunity to participate and still not spend their whole weekend."

The convention will be followed by the party's annual general meeting, including a keynote address from the new leader, where he will lay out his vision for the future of the province.