Charlottetown: Where the cool kids are

Ampersand is a multifaceted mecca of cool. More specifically and in plainer English, Ampersand (98 Water St., 902-892-9811, or via Facebook) is a new shop on the Charlotettown waterfront that manages to be a venue for indie bands, a café hangout for students, writers and artists, an art gallery and, in the summer, a shop that carries locally made T-shirts, jewellery and dresses.

Some of my favorite Maritime designers sell their goods here, including Cranky designs (to be featured in an upcoming blog) and jewellery by Rebecca Ford. The store’s other stock includes tons of fun, bright tees, lots of discs from East Coast bands, zines, abstract art and hilarious post cards. Ampersand is managed by artist Matthew Richard, and most locals would agree that he and his staff organize and host the most fun events in town. This past summer, the shop held a circus party, where Charlottetown residents dressed in their most colorful and outrageous clothes, and a re-prom, where attendees danced the night way dressed in “dos” (rather than the puffy “don’ts” of proms past). The store also participates in the various gallery crawls in town, and usually has the most interesting and out there art in the city. Ampersand will host group events and currently rents out space to local students who meet on Sundays to drink wine, eat baked goodies and play obscure board games.

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