Portal:Prince Edward Island

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The Prince Edward Island Portal

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Prince Edward Island (PEI or P.E.I.; French: Île-du-Prince-Édouard, Scottish Gaelic: Eilean a' Phrionnsa) is a Canadian province consisting of an island of the same name, as well as other islands. The maritime province is the smallest in the nation in both land area and population (excluding the territories). The island has a few other names: "Garden of the Gulf" referring to the pastoral scenery and lush agricultural lands throughout the province; and "Birthplace of Confederation", referring to the Charlottetown Conference in 1864.

According to the 2001 Canadian Census, the largest ethnic group consists of people of Scottish descent (38.0%), followed by English (28.7%), Irish (27.9%), French (21.3%), German (4.0%), and Dutch (3.1%) descent. In recent times the island has also received an influx of immigrants from Asia and Africa. Almost half of all respondents also identified their ethnicity as "Canadian."

According to the 2009 estimates, Prince Edward Island has 141,000 residents. It is located in a rectangle defined roughly by 46°47°N, and 62°–64°30′W and at 5,683.91 km2 (2,194.57 sq mi) in size, it is the 104th largest island in the world, and Canada's 23rd largest island. The island was named for Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767–1820), the fourth son of King George III and the father of Queen Victoria. The island's cultural traditions of art, music and creative writing are all supported through the public education system. There are an annual arts festivals like, the Charlottetown Festival, hosted at the Confederation Centre of the Arts.

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Charlottetown Conference Delegates, September 1864.JPG
The Charlottetown Conference was held in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island for representatives from the colonies of British North America to discuss Canadian Confederation. The conference took place between 1–9 September 1864.

The conference was originally planned as a meeting between representatives from the Maritime colonies only: Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. Newfoundland was thought to have no interest in a union, so they were not invited. Britain encouraged a Maritime Union between these colonies, hoping that they would then become less economically and politically dependent on the Crown, as well as provide for greater economic and military power for the region in light of the ongoing American Civil War. However another colony, the Province of Canada (modern Ontario and Quebec), heard news of the planned conference and asked that the agenda be expanded to discuss a union that would also include them. Newfoundland also requested to be able to attend the conference in August 1864, but by then it was too late to change the plans.

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Prince edward island sandstone arch.jpg
The coastline of Prince Edward Island consists of a combination of long beaches, dunes, red sandstone cliffs, salt water marshes and numerous bays and harbours. The beaches, dunes and sandstone cliffs consist of sedimentary rock and other material with a high iron concentration which oxidizes upon exposure to the air. The geological properties of a white silica sand found at Basin Head are unique in the province; the sand grains cause a scrubbing noise as they rub against each other when walked on. Large dune fields on the north shore can be found on barrier islands at the entrances to various bays and harbours. The magnificent sand dunes at Greenwich are of particular significance.
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Robert harris.jpg
Robert Harris (18 September 1849 - 27 February 1919) was a Welsh-born Canadian painter most noted for his portrait of the Fathers of Confederation.

Born in Cydd, Brymn-a-In, Conwy, Wales, he came to Prince Edward Island via Liverpool with his family as a youth. He later studied art in Boston, London's Slade School of Art, in Paris under Léon Bonnat, and in Rome. He traveled extensively, finally settling in Montreal. He was later commissioned by news publications of the day to create portraits of notable personalities, ranging from politicians to scoundrels. He was a founding member of the Royal Canadian Academy (RCA) and elected president of the RCA in 1893. An important collection of his works is housed at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown.

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