February 13, 2008
By Carol Doucet
The upcoming Congrès mondial acadien being held August 7 to 23, 2009 will span throughout the Acadian Peninsula. In this northeastern New Brunswick area there are over 100 LSDs (Local Service Districts), villages and cities, most of which will have something to offer to the visitors and locals during the summer of 2009!
Some localities have joined their neighbors to get their programming under way. As of now, there are sixty (solo or combination) localities that have registered activities in the community programming. The Peninsular territory is perfect for this big event because of the short distance separating the extremities of the area. To get from Neguac, the most southern point, to the northwestern limit of Miscou or the northern peak of Grande-Anse takes a maximum of 90 minutes! This also means that when you are in Pokemouche, the center of the Péninsule, you only have to drive forty-five minutes to get to the farthest village.
The Congrès mondial acadien will be a unique opportunity for the people of the Acadian Peninsula to promote who they are, what they do and the great places they live. This promotion will not only be focused on the visitors but also residents themselves who, even if they have lived there all their lives, might not know all the treasures the region has to offer.
Director of Programming, Jocelyne Thériault, has been working with every community in the Péninsule to build a diverse and representative community-driven program. “In the Acadian Peninsula we are known for our legendary and unique hospitality and visitors always feel welcome anywhere they go. Those coming to the 2009 CMA will discover a variety of activities and places, big and small, that make these communities proud. Often, tourists don’t go passed the well-know urban areas and forget to even take look at the smaller towns and villages close by. The CMA will be a stepping-stone for these less-known localities.” She explains.
Whether it’s an exhibit on the forced landing of a Russian plane in Miscou, lobster diners in Pigeon Hill, clam pie in Saint-Simon, eels in Évangeline, going out on the water with fishermen in Anse-Bleue, cruises on the river in Tracadie-Sheila or an exhibit on the first settlers of Val-Comeau, the activities are extremely varied. Other examples include the Village of Great Food in Lamèque, an Hermenegilde Chiasson art exhibit in his hometown of St-Simon, ATV and horse-drawn carriage rides in St-Léolin, a presentation of historic documents in Bois-Blanc, birdwatching in Maisonette, Bertrand and Bas-Caraquet, a méchoui (pig roast) in Saint-Sauveur, canoeing down the river in Burnsville, Acadian food tastings in Tracadie-Sheila and in Port-Lafrance, a kitchen party with the raconteur Dominique Breau in St-Isidor, boat tours and seal watching in Tabusintac-Covedell, outdoor activities in Canton des Basque and Saumarez, and songwriter/talent nights in Shippagan…
On top of this amazing community programming, participants will also be able to attend events that cover the entire Peninsula (art exhibits, nature walks, bike rides, sports, school projects, radio, music, film, etc.), shows, family reunions, Espace 2009, workshops and conferences, the Grand rassemblement jeunesse (Youth forum), the Women’s Summit, Business Routes, etc.