Celebrating the Overlap: Expressing Canada’s Plurality Through Collective Ceremony in Charlottetown Harbour
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Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, is popularly regarded as Canada’s “Birthplace of Confederation.” It was the site of the 1864 Charlottetown Conference, which led to Confederation in 1867. This new national narrative reframed Canada as a largely Anglophone country, suppressing its Francophone and Indigenous histories. Since then, Canada still struggles with the discrepancy between this singular mythology and the country’s tripartite foundations. This thesis addresses the incomplete expression of Canada’s identity and shares the opportunities afforded when all identities are represented by creating an ephemeral celebration for all Island people in unequally represented places. It proposes architectural designs for annual events that incorporate historic sites, mobile structures, and ritual participation through Charlottetown Harbour and up to Province House, the site of the 1864 conference. These events celebrate the Island’s tripartite history and consider how tangible associations at this local scale contribute to a more complete understanding of Canada’s national identity.