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Benevolent Irish Society
200th year Anniversary Celebration
in August of 2025 (August 1– August 16).

30,000+ islanders can trace their ancestry back to Ireland. Many people “from away”
also have strong PEI Irish roots as many of our people left the island to find work
across Canada and long the Eastern Seaboard of the USA.

Following is the list of events included in the 2-week celebration. Methods to pre-book tickets to these
events will be provided at a later date closer to the event.

Proving the list of events and dates will help visitors planning to come to the Island in the summer of
2025 plan to take part in our anniversary event.

4 headliner events with both Richard Wood Band and Kate Bevan Baker Band.

These shows are 2.5 hours of fabulous entertainment. Dates are:

Thursday August 7 – College of Piping in Summerside
Saturday August 9 – Simmons Performance Hall in Charlottetown
Tuesday August 12 – Souris Showhall
Thursday August 14 – Simmons Performance Hall in Charlottetown

2 Special Traditional Music Ceilidhs with multiple performers each event.

We will be featuring all of our most sought-after performers at these Ceilidhs. The Best Ceilidh Lunch on PEI will be served at each event and is included in admission price.

Friday August 1 – Irish Hall 8 pm – 10:30 pm
Friday August 15 – Irish Hall 8 pm – 10:30 pm

Old Home Week Events

August 15 – BIS Float in the Parade
August 7 – 14 Booth at the Old Home Week Grounds (Irish cooking demos, Irish dancing demo, Spin the Wheel, etc.)
Date to be Determined – Sponsorship of a race with a cooler blanket and some prize money

Ambassador of Ireland Reception at the Irish Hall

August 1 – Irish Hall. Reception for the Entourage of the current Irish Ambassador to Canada, including the dedication of the Katherine Hughes Monument on the front lawn. Light lunch and traditional entertainment.

Formal Gala Dinner for 300 (serving Traditional Irish Food)

August 2 – Traditional Irish Dinner (3 courses) plus a “Meet and Greet” before dinner at the Murphy’s Community Centre. Food will be catered by Chef Robert Pendergast. Music by Traditional Musicians. (Harp, Tin Whistle, Fiddle, Flute, Uilleann Pipes). Irish Ambassador
Entourage plus many local dignitaries will be in attendance.

Heritage Cultural Fair (3 days) at the Irish Hall

August 8 – 10 – Irish Hall grounds.
➢ Step Dancing Demonstration
➢ Irish Lace Making demonstration
➢ Quilts for sale in the hall as well as a demonstration
➢ Irish Knitting for sale in the hall as well as a demonstration
➢ Display and Sale of books by local authors
August 4 – 10 Ancestry workshops in the Lower Foyer of the Hall
➢ Food served in the Parking Lot (Grilled Cheese on Soda Bread, Potato Bannock, Tea Biscuits and Homemade Jam, Irish Apple Cake with Cream, Potato Love, Oysters on the half shell, etc.)
➢ Fiddlers to entertain in the parking lot.

Walking Tour of Charlottetown with Irish Focus

August 3 – 6, 11 – 13. This is a guided tour. A tour booklet has been created by local historians with stops at many sites of significance to the Irish people of PEI (e.g., Lady Constable Memorial, Irish Settlers Monument on the waterfront, Connolly Buildings, Bourke’s Wharf..)
➢ The tour will begin at the Irish Settlers Monument on the Charlottetown boardwalk.

Driving Tours of PEI (1 East, 1 West) with Irish Focus and Picnic lunches

➢ These are self guided tours of sites of significance to Irish people in Kings and Prince County. As well there are several sites in Queens County included in the tours.
➢ Kings County tour (The Eastern Tour) includes such sites as Orwell Corner, Longworth Avenue Roman Catholic Cemetery, St. Patrick’s Pioneer Cemetery in Ft. Augustus, Minnie McGee’s grave in the St. Mary’s Cemetery, etc.
➢ Prince County Tour (The Western Tour) includes such sites as the International Fox Museum, Canadian Potato Museum & Antique Farm Machinery Museum, O’Brien House, etc.
➢ A tour booklet is provided for each group of travellers and a packed lunch is available for purchase
for $10.00 if pre-booked.

Irish Artifacts Exhibit at Confederation Centre

➢ The expectation is that this exhibit would open before August 1 and stay open after the BIS Anniversary Celebration, possibly until October 31st.

➢ The BIS members have been collecting memorabilia associated with the trip made by our “First Settlers” to PEI from Ireland.
➢ To date a number of items have been identified by BIS members and also located in the Provincial Heritage Museum.
➢ Once the full list of items to be exhibited is finished, the exhibit needs to be “themed”.


Lecture Series (8 Local and International Scholars)

August 4 – 7 and 11 - 15 in the Irish Hall

➢ Speakers are:

Sister City BIS sponsored Events (Souris, Emyvale/Kelly’s Cross, Emerald/Breadalbane/
Kinkora, Tignish)

➢ We are working with local community advisors to plan events, sponsored by the BIS, in Kelly’s Cross/ Emyvale, Tignish and  Emerald/Breadalbane/ Kinkora areas.
Tuesday August 12 in Souris we are planning to model the Tea Grounds Tea Parties that were popular in the 1890’s where visitors who attended these gala events travelled by train to Souris,
Georgetown and Montague.

Ft. Augustus St. Patrick’s Pioneer Cemetery Tour “A Walk with the Ancestors”

August 3 (Sunday) and August 10 (Sunday) – Guided tour of the St. Patrick’s Pioneer Cemetery in Ft. Augustus where many Irish settlers are buried. The cemetery is going through a major restoration and many of the fallen stores are being righted and cleaned.
➢ Local historians have created a Tour book. Families named  Handrahan, Trainor, Cummisky, Hughes, Duffy, Murnaghan, Connolly are some of the families buried here.
➢ The tour includes a light lunch and some traditional Celtic music to accompany the lunch.

Irish Film Festival (pilot spring of 2024)

➢ We are planning to pilot this event in the late spring of 2024 and link it to the actual anniversary of the forming of the BIS at the Wellington Hotel in April of 1925. If it is well received it will become an annual event as the St. Patrick’s Play portion of the St. Patrick’s Week Festival each year.

➢ Depending on Film Lengths the likely dates and times would be Saturdays and Sundays at 4 or 4:30 pm. There will be family films and adult films on offer. After the Adult films, filmgoers will be invited to meet at the Old Dublin Pub for a discussion of the film.
➢ Details are being ironed out.

Keep an eye here for more details on ticket booking as these events firm up. As well, local accommodations set up for the event will be communicated a bit closer to the event.

Phone Mary Ellen Callaghan at 902-213-3924
or em
ail if you have questions

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