8 fun things to do on P.E.I. this first weekend of October

Just because it's officially autumn doesn't mean there are fewer things to do on P.E.I. — it just means some of them have migrated to where it's cozy, indoors.

Art shows, concerts and an agricultural festival — there's something for everyone

Farm Day in the City is a rain or shine event, attendees are encouraged to dress for the weather. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

Just because it's officially autumn doesn't mean there are fewer things to do on P.E.I. — it just means some of them have migrated to where it's cozy, indoors.

From art shows to concerts and a huge agricultural festival, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Here's a sampling.

1. Farm Day in the City

Farm Day in the City presented by the P.E.I. Potato Growers will take over downtown Charlottetown on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The free annual event invites Islanders to celebrate their agricultural roots and encourage buying local.

This open-air pedestrian market will close down traffic on lower Queen Street, from Grafton to Water streets, for the daylong festivities. There will be more than 200 vendors, live music, a beer garden on Sydney Street, a petting zoo and much more.

It is a rain or shine event — attendees are encouraged to dress for the weather. The first 2,500 visitors through the gates will receive a limited edition Farm Day in the City cotton shopping bag.

For more information visit the Discover Charlottetown website or Facebook page.

2. Brian Burke retrospective

A Brian Burke painting called Sunday Without Warning completed in 1986 is one of the more than 100 paintings on display. (Confederation Centre of the Arts)

A new exhibition opens this Saturday at the Confederation Centre Art Gallery celebrating the work of late P.E.I.-born artist Brian Burke, called Predicaments.

The two-gallery show will be open to the public until Jan. 6 and includes over 100 works.

"His themes tend to be about alienation isolation feeling like an outsider in society," said Pan Wendt, curator for the gallery.

Burke died in 2017 and Wendt said he has been working on the show ever since. 

Wendt said thanks to Burke's partner, the gallery was able to get reproductions of every work he made and chose the works for the exhibition from those reproductions.

Admission to the gallery is by donation. For more information visit the Confederation Centre website.

3. P.E.I. Strongman Competition

Atlas stones are one of the heavy objects being lifted at this year's competition. (Robert Short/CBC)

Want to see some heavy weights getting lifted? Check out the P.E.I. Strongman Competition this Saturday at the Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown.

Events include atlas stones, which has competitors lift and carry heavy natural stones, and the farmer's walk, where competitors walk holding heavy objects such as logs in each hand. There will also be tire flips, truck pulls and more.

The competition starts at 3 p.m. and admission is $5, but children under 10 enter for free. There will also be a 50/50 with proceeds going to the Ostomy Canada Society.

For more information or to purchase tickets visit the event's Facebook page.

4. Nathan Condon Memorial Concert

Organizer Wendell Cameron says Nathan Condon was a talented artist and was a great friend and he wanted to keep his name alive. (Nathan Condon/Bandcamp)

Island singer-songwriter Larry Campbell will host the second annual Nathan Condon Memorial Concert for Suicide Prevention Friday evening at Trinity United Church at 90 Spring St. in Summerside.

P.E.I. musician Nathan Condon died in 2017 from suicide. All of the proceeds from the concert will be donated to suicide prevention programs.

Musicians set to perform include Roy Johnstone, Scott Parsons and the band Not All There, as well as nine-year-old Alexis MacLaren from South Freetown who has performed the last three years in Atlantic Blue with Tara MacLean.

The concert starts at 7 p.m. Admission is by a recommended donation of $15 per person. For more information visit the event's website.

5. Realizations

Rory Starkman is the director of Realizations being shown at The Guild in Charlottetown. (Sarah MacMillan/CBC)

The Guild presents a remount of Realizations, the sold-out hit production from the 2018 Island Fringe Festival written by Kandace Hagen and again directed by Rory Starkman.

The script has been updated and expanded for the new production, an autobiographical memory play that exposes the politics and negotiation of queer sexual awakening.

This isn't one for kids — Realizations should be considered R-rated for adult themes including sexual violence.

There is a pay-what-you-can showing Sunday at 2 p.m. at The Guild in Charlottetown. For information on additional dates visit the Realizations Facebook page.

6. Reclamations

Jane Whitten gathers urban flotsam and jetsam and explores ways of reusing these materials to create forms and vessels. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

The Guild is hosting the group exhibition Reclamations for the month of October.

With works by by artists Renée Laprise, Jane Whitten and Lenny Gallant, the show explores what it means to reclaim materials, ideas, and heritage into objects and images that speak to personal and global concerns.

Renée Laprise has been painting for 30 years. Her newest work uses a bold and colourful style to reference her Métis heritage and art history background.

Jane Whitten is an experimental basket maker, knitter, crocheter, stitcher and general tinkerer who gathers urban flotsam and jetsam and reuses them to create forms and vessels.

The exhibit is open Saturday and Sunday starting at noon and admission is by donation. For more information visit the show's Facebook page.

7. UPEI team competes in horse show

There is no fee to watch the Atlantic Intercollegiate Equestrian League event hosted by the UPEI Equestrian Club. (Submitted by UPEI Equestrian Club)

The first Atlantic Intercollegiate Equestrian League show of the year is this Sunday with the UPEI equestrian team hosting at Seaglass Stables in Winsloe. 

Warm-ups start at 9 a.m. and the first class begins at 9:30 a.m.

There is no fee to watch the outdoor event and there will be a canteen. Those planning to attend are encouraged to bring a lawn chair. If it rains the event will be moved inside the Bonwell Equestrian Centre in Brookvale. 

For more information visit the event's Facebook page.

8. Navratri Festival

Navratri 2019 – Garba Night on Prince Edward Island takes place at the Stratford Town Hall at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Navratri is a traditional Indian Hindu festival and is celebrated in honour of the divine feminine Goddess Durga. Garba is a form of folk dance that originated in the state of Gujarat in India.

Everyone is welcome to join this free event and experience the significance of Navratri, Durga and learn to perform various styles of Garbas.

There will be Indian food available and those planning to attend are encouraged to bring cash. There is no dress code but a majority of attendees will be wearing traditional Indian attire.

Though reservations are all taken, there is still a chance people can enjoy the event, though space is limited.

Organizers say they are expecting upwards of 450 people. For more information visit the festival's Facebook page.

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