Welcome to Cvent's MICE Guide to Prince Edward Island, a PEI guide for MICE professionals. Named the top island in the continental U.S. and Canada on Travel + Leisure's 2013 World's Best list, the idyllic Prince Edward Island is one of four Atlantic provinces on Canada's east coast. As the country's smallest and greenest province, the crescent-shaped Prince Edwards Island is rich in history, agriculture, beauty and tourism - and meeting travel possibilities, as it's home to 200,000 square feet of meeting and event space province-wide. The Island's five touring regions, two cities and seven towns, together offer a variety of unique venues, more than 2,000 hotel rooms and a bounty of farm to table restaurants that showcase Prince Edward Island's fresh seafood and produce – not to mention a beautiful green landscape that served as the inspiration for the 1908 classic novel Anne of Green Gables. In fact, Prince Edward Island serves as the birthplace of the Confederation; it's here that in 1864 the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Ontario and Quebec met in the present capital of Charlottetown to form the new nation of Canada. During 2014, Prince Edward Island is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Charlottetown Conference that led to the creation of Canada through a number of festivals and activities. Prince Edward Island also celebrates the fact that, when it comes to meetings and conventions, it sees 10 to 15 percent higher delegate registration than other Canadian provinces.
Spanning 224 kilometers in length and between six and 64 kilometers in width, Prince Edward Island is linked to the mainland via the 12.9-kilometer Confederation Bridge, the longest bridge over ice-covered waters in the world. The Island features red sandstone cliffs and 1,100 kilometers of shoreline, mostly in the form of pristine beaches; the south shore tends to have the warmest water and reddish sand, thanks to its position along the Northumblerland Strait, while the north shore faces the Gulf of St. Lawrence. Meeting delegates traveling to Prince Edward Island fly into Charlottetown Airport, which accommodates year-round direct flights from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax, and seasonal direct flights from New York City.
Once on Prince Edward Island, delegates can ride the Maritime Bus system, which provides daily service between the Island's Charlottetown, Summerside and Borden-Carlton, as well as more than 40 locations across the Maritimes, with connections to VIA Rail and central and western Canada. The nearest VIA Rail station in Moncton, New Brunswick offers Maritime Bus service to Prince Edward Island, while the Montreal Amtrak station provides daily service from New York City to Montreal. Amtrak passengers traveling to Prince Edward Island can take VIA Rail from the Montreal Amtrak station to Moncton, New Brunswick, and from there take the Maritime Bus to Prince Edward Island. Delegates visiting Nova Scotia can board Northumberland Ferries, which runs two ferries between Prince Edward Island and Nova Scotia several times daily from May through December.
Most of Prince Edward Island's unique venues and meeting spaces can be found in the capital city of Charlottetown. For one, the city is home to the $24-million Prince Edward Island Convention Centre. Opened in August 2013, the convention centre is adjoined with the Delta Prince Edward hotel, together offering more than 50,000 square feet of meeting space. Conveniently located within steps of restaurants, shops and nightlife, the waterfront convention centre and 211-room hotel feature the 24,000-square-foot Confederation Ballroom, which accommodates up to 3,000 people, is divisible into six spaces and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows with fantastic water views. Other meeting spaces include six breakout rooms, two boardrooms, two conference offices and a 700-person outdoor patio overlooking the waterfront.
Aside from the Prince Edward Island Convention Centre, Charlottetown is home to the Confederation Centre of the Arts, a fantastic Canadian visual and performing arts centre, as well as one of the largest event facilities on the Island. Spanning an entire city block, the Confederation Centre of the Arts features several theatres, art galleries, a restaurant and a gift shop, as well as offers a variety of event spaces accommodating up to 1,102 people theatre-style; 1,500 people reception-style; and 900 people banquet-style. Charlottetown's Prince Edward Island Brewing Company offers private group tours of their-state-of-the-art brewery, as well as two events spaces for groups of five to 500, both featuring 25-foot ceilings, exposed brick, reclaimed wood and natural light. Groups can also enjoy the brewery's transportation and catering services for larger groups. Groups can also tour Charlottetown's Province House, a National Historic Site, birthplace of the Confederation and seat of Prince Edward Island's provincial legislature, or enjoy tours at Green Gables Heritage Place, the inspiration for the setting of Lucy Maud Montgomery's classic novel Anne of Green Gables. Groups seeking heart-pounding excitement can hold private events at the Red Shores Racetrack and Casino at Charlottetown Driving Park. The 50,000-square-foot centre features a grandstand, simulcast standardbred harness racing and more than 200 slots and table games.