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Sarah Hagen a pianist from British Columbia, plays a piece for a crowd of about 100 on hand for the second annual Indian River Festival Open House to kick off the season.
Sarah Hagen a pianist from British Columbia, plays a piece for a crowd of about 100 on hand for the second annual Indian River Festival Open House to kick off the season. - Millicent McKay

INDIAN RIVER, P.E.I. - It’s the time of year when hundreds pack into historic St. Mary’s Church to listen to great music and try great food at the Indian River Festival.

Recently, the festival was officially kicked off with an open house at the former church and its accompanying pavilion.

“We’ve got a really exciting season ahead of us,” said Don Quarles, the festival’s executive director.

This second annual open house featured a performance by Sarah Hagen, a pianist from British Columbia.

“Sarah is only one of the many talented performers we have this year. It’s going to be action-packed and feature lots of local artists.”

Some performers include Sarah Slean with Atlantic String Machine, Meaghan Blanchard, Michael Kaeshammer Trio, Dennis (Ellsworth) and Kinley, the Sweet Lowdown and more.

There will also be three open stage events with the remaining two on July 28 and Aug. 25.

“I’m excited to see new faces who haven’t seen the space before, because it’s a magical acoustic gem, and I’m excited for the artists who haven’t been here before,” added Quarles. “But if there is an artist that you don’t know, don’t let that deter you, because each artist is incredible.”

Upcoming performances in June:

  • June 17 at 3 p.m.: Youth Legacy Celebration
  • June 22 at 7:30 p.m.: Sarah Slean with Atlantic String Machine
  • June 24 at 3 p.m.: Tales and Legends – Sirens
  • June 29 at 7:30 p.m.: Meaghan Blanchard/Nick Doneff

For a complete list of shows in the 2018 season, go to the festival’s website.

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