Tuesday, April 13, 2004
(Halifax, NS) – Celebrating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the French to North America, Congrès mondial acadien 2004 (CMA 2004) announces the performers for its international gathering of Acadians in Nova Scotia, July 31 August 15.
Named Top Event in Canada for 2004 by the American Bus Association, CMA 2004 is the third of its kind (previously held in Louisiana in 1999 and in New Brunswick in 1994) and welcomes over 100,000 Acadians from around the world back to their homeland, Acadie. Close to 100 families are organizing reunions during the 16-day event, ranging in size from 200 to 7,000 participants per family. Comprised of cornerstone events such as opening and closing concerts, academic conferences and community-based events, CMA 2004 has over 2,000 activities taking place in more than 60 communitiesthroughout Nova Scotia.
“Congrès mondial acadien 2004 is a world class event with first class entertainers,” says Allister Surette, president of Société Acadie Nouvelle-Écosse 2004, society mandated to organize CMA 2004. “We are excited to be able to offer the best of Acadian performers from all of Acadie. There are no barriers when it comes to music; all participants will savor the spirit of Acadie and be part of this homecoming celebration.”
“As producer of Congrès mondial acadien 2004, I am thrilled at the variety and quality of talent we will have on stage for CMA 2004,” agrees Ron Bourgeois, co-executive producer. “From amateur, to true star power we guarantee to all attending, an exciting and unforgettable entertainment experience!”
On July 31, the Opening Ceremonies will take place in the Acadian region of Clare in southwest Nova Scotia, where Samuel de Champlain, Sieur De Mons and other French explorers landed, commemorating the birthplace of Acadie. Performers will include 2004 ECMA winner for Francophone Recording of the Year, internationally renowned BLOU, whose music is inspired by their Acadian roots; innovative and energetic group Grand Dérangement who combine the liveliest of music and dance; Cajun musician Waylon Thibodeaux, dubbed ‘Louisiana’s Rockin’ Fiddler’; Acadian dance troupe La Baie en Joie; pianist-composer Paul Saulnier; Acadian group La Chorale du Sud-ouest; traditional musician and accordion player Bernard Félix; traditional group Vishten, who combines French, Irish and Scottish styles featuring the drive of the fiddle; Cajun music sensation Bruce Daigrepont who has performed at such prestigious venues as New York’s Lincoln Center; eclectic New Brunswick group Bois Joli whose repertoire consists of traditional Acadian, folk, Martinique, and French pop, and of course, 1755, the first popular group to bring introduce Acadian and French music into their repertoire.
On August 6, 7 & 8, Acadians and their friends from around the world will experience Acadian arts and culture in all its forms at the Festival du Mitan in Cheticamp. Artists performing will be well-known Inverness County musical family Le Groupe LeLièvre; blues legend Patrick Verbeke from France; storyteller, singer and musician Edith Butler who can play 24 instruments and has recorded 27 albums, as well as Grand Dérangement, Waylon Thibodeaux, Bruce Daigrepont, and Bois Joli. The Festival will also feature an original play by Paul Gallant called Le grand cercle. In total, the theatrical performance will bring together close to 200 local performers.
The 400th Anniversary Concert will take place on Citadel Hill in Halifax on August 15. The concert will include performances by winner of the first edition of “Star Academy”, francophone artist Wilfred LeBoutilier who has a new album éponyme, released only a few months ago, that has already surpassed 200,000 sales; 2003 ECMA Francophone Album of the Year winner Lennie Gallant, co-writer of the theme song for the first Congrès mondial acadien, “Acadie de nos coeurs”; New Brunswick teenage fiddling sensation Dominique Dupuis who opened the prestigious Celtic festival in Paris this year; energetic folk-pop-rock singer Jean-François Breau; and author, composer, singer and poet Zachary Richard whose music reflects styles of his native Louisiana.
The show will also feature singer and actor Marie-Jo Thério; popular Canadian soprano Nathalie Paulin, who is a regular guest soloist with the Toronto Symphony, Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Tafelmusik; pianist and singer Isabelle Roy, whose reputation transcends the borders of l’Acadie; Nova Scotia rappers Jacobus et Malico; multi-instrumentalists Suroît, six musicians who employ fiddle, mandolin, bass, accordion, harmonica, keyboard, bones, spoons, washboard and of course, their feet; writer and singer Paul Hébert, as well as Edith Butler, Grand Dérangement, BLOU, La Baie en Joie, Bernard Félix, Vishten and more.
“With all the major events put together, the Congrès will be the biggest cultural event ever held in Nova Scotia and represents the greatest collection of Acadian artists ever presented in this province,” says Gerry Boudreau, co-executive producer, CMA 2004.
Tickets will be made available on May 3rd through the Metro Center Box Office by calling (902) 451-1221. Ticket prices will range from $12.50 for the Opening Show and the Festival du mitan to $29.50 for the 400th anniversary concert on Citadel Hill. Children 12 years of age and under will enter free of charge for the 400th anniversary concert only.
CMA 2004 is sponsored by Oland Brewery Ltd., Caisse populaire de Clare / Credit Union Central, Sobeys Inc., Bay Ferries Ltd., Comeau Sea Foods Ltd., and Assomption Vie. Government partners include the Federal government through ACOA and Canadian Heritage and the province of Nova Scotia through Acadian Affairs and Tourism, Culture and Heritage.
For more information, visit: http://www.cma2004.com/ or please contact:
Wendy Phillips or Leah Copeland, Sonic Entertainment Group
Phone: (902) 491-1991
For information in French, please contact:Danielle LeBlanc, Direction des
Phone: (902) 424-2220