Matthew MacKay grew up in Stanley Bridge on a small family farm and tourism business and understands the importance of agriculture and tourism to the Island economy. He attended the one-room schoolhouse in the community in Stanley Bridge for eight grades, before attending High School in Kensington. Matthew earned an MA in Communications from the Ohio State University in 1978.
After graduating, Matthew returned to PEI and married his lifelong friend Ann (Elsinga). They have known each other for fifty-four years and have been married for thirty-nine years. Due to lack of opportunity, they relocated to Fredericton, New Brunswick where Matthew was employed with the Energy Secretariat. Wanting to return to PEI to raise their two boys, Ann and Matthew took a leap of faith and moved back to Stanley Bridge. While building a graphic design business, Matthew worked at a number of odd jobs, from house painting to the all-night DJ at CHTN. Ann and Matthew moved to Charlottetown after the boys left PEI to find work, and he finished his professional career working as graphic designer at UPEI.
On retirement, Ann and Matthew moved to Seaview where they spent most of their free time over the years and are building a small energy efficient house in a community they have long been a part of.
Matthew continues to run a modest business designing books. One of his pleasures is designing posters for rock concerts in Montreal.
Matthew has always been engaged in his local church, working through the church to benefit his local community. Both Ann and Matthew are active members of St John's Presbyterian Church, where Ann sings in the choir and Matthew teaches adult Sunday School. (The congregation would agree that Ann sings better than Matthew teaches.)
His hobbies involve the outdoors. An avid runner and six-time marathoner, he is often called on by running clubs to speak with training groups. (His lecture on women's safety is always in demand.) Injuries have resulted in dabbling in cycling, and Matthew hopes to someday be as happy on a bike as he was running.
Matthew believes we need to work so future generations can flourish on a healthy PEI with livable wages and a self-sustaining community-based lifestyle.