2009 World Acadian Congress launches preliminary program
(Pokemouche, New Brunswick – June 21, 2007) – The team organizing the 2009 World Acadian Congress (WAC) launched its preliminary program today in front of a large audience in Pokemouche, located in the centre of the Acadian Peninsula. The announcement took place two years and two months before the event that will not only be the largest ever organized in this region of New Brunswick, but also the largest event in 2009 in the Canadian francophonie.
The event will be held from August 7 to 23, 2009, on the Acadian Peninsula in northeastern New Brunswick. More than 100 communities will offer a number of activities highlighting the richness and dynamism of the host region.
The World Acadian Congress is a reunion of Acadians and guests from around the world. The 2009 Congress will be an opportunity for people from all over to better acquaint themselves with a unique region known for its diversity and to meet people who are working toward the future. “Acadians by adoption and people interested in Acadie are invited to come meet our welcoming people living in one of the Maritimes’ most picturesque environments,” said Jean-Guy Rioux, President of the 2009 WAC.
Program events will include large public celebrations, cultural exhibits, themed and community activities, scientific and public conferences, as well as family visits and reunions. In short, the 2009 WAC will have something for every taste and for all ages throughout the Acadian Peninsula. “The 2009 WAC on the Acadian Peninsula will be a memorable meeting of people proud to live in their culture and surrounded by magnificent coastal landscapes that are unique to the region,” said Mr. Rioux. “The summer of 2009 will really be the summer of the Acadian Peninsula.”
Community programming will be at the heart of the event. More than 225 activities are already on the program in 80 of the Acadian Peninsula’s nearly 100 towns, villages and LSDs. Other community activities will definitely be added between now and the event. “Whether it’s an exhibit on the history of the forced landing of a Russian airplane in Miscou, lobster suppers in Pigeon Hill, clams in St-Simon or eels in Évangéline, trips out on the water with Anse-Bleue fishermen, square dancing in Sainte-Rose, workshops on making snowshoes in Saint-Sauveur, boat trips on the river in Tracadie-Sheila, or an exhibit on the first settlers in Val-Comeau, nearly all Peninsula communities will be organizing activities to highlight their can-do attitude,” said Jocelyne Thériault, head of programming for the 2009 WAC.
Big events in all four corners of the Peninsula
August 7, opening day, will take place in the regions of Lamèque, Shippagan and Miscou. The day will start with the symphonic sounds of a large group of decorated boats. Residents and visitors will take part in an “Acadian March” that will be both a celebration of origins and of the current vitality of the francophone people in America. An opening lunch and cultural displays will liven up the picturesque area. The day will culminate in a stage show entitled “Ocean Roots” that will feature a string of artists, the majority of whom are from this neck of Acadie.
Greater Caraquet will host the August 15th celebration of the Acadian national holiday. Preceded by a series of country-style luncheons at the wharf in Grande-Anse, the Village Historique Acadien and the Marina de Bas-Caraquet, the 2009 Grand Tintamarre will be a never-before-seen celebration for all of Acadie. The Tintamarre will make its way toward a stage show that will bring together some of the most famous and successful artists from all over Acadie.
Closing day, August 23, will take place in the regions of Tracadie-Sheila and Neguac under the theme of youth, family and spirituality. Closing day will begin in Neguac with an incredible summer carnival. Themed pavilions will present visitors with a cultural and community experience. The day will culminate with the Congress’ grand finale closing stage show in Tracadie-Sheila, a multi-faceted event that will feature some of the greatest voices of Acadie through the incredibly moving images, music and songs of this francophone people.
From August 16 to 20, the Pokemouche region, located in the very centre of the Acadian Peninsula, will welcome “Espace 2009” or Space 2009, an exterior area that will be turned in to a place where the innovation and creativity of Acadie will be highlighted. A variety of festive and interactive activities will take place in this physical and virtual village which will serve as a place to meet, celebrate and entertain, and which has been conceived as a human and technological mosaic presenting Acadie’s strengths. Spaces dedicated to specific areas such as technology, science, economics, cuisine, arts and culture, communities, etc., will allow visitors to discover Acadian ingenuity in all its richness. Stage shows will also be presented.
Under the theme “The Family Is Here,” several dozen family reunions will take place during the event. Some Acadian families will host other families interested in Acadie. These get-togethers, already in the planning stages, will certainly be memorable and will gather Acadians from all over the world.
Twenty projects on the Acadian Peninsula
During the Congress, major events grouped under the theme “Acadie and Its Moods” will take place throughout the Peninsula: visual arts, theatre, stage shows, nature activities, bicycle tours of the region, sports, school projects, radio, music, films, business meetings, etc. It will be an opportunity to discover surprising treasures.
Several major cultural activities are on the program and have been organized by various artistic and cultural groups: the Festival des arts visuels en Atlantique will present an exhibit called “Invincible Roots”; the Théâtre populaire d’Acadie will present “Courtes formes Maritimes” and an opera called “La metamorphose”; the Comité du Vieux-Couvent de Caraquet will present a sound and light show; the Conservatoire de musique de l’Acadie will hold a Peninsula-wide concert; Cojak Productions will present a film entitled “Voir l’Acadie”; the Groupe Existe and the Centre culturel de Caraquet will present a symposium on modern art entitled “Illumination 2009” and an art project entitled “Les lampadaires de 2009”; the four cultural societies on the Peninsula will present the musical drama “Louis-Mailloux”; the Salon du livre de la Péninsule acadienne will publish a guide on Acadian authors or authors who write about Acadie; artist Régis Noël will present an exhibit of great works entitled “Acadie, vent dans les voiles”; and the Hookeuses du Bor’de’lo will present exhibits entitled “Weaving the Acadian Thread” and “Let the Rugs Talk.”
In activities related to the environment, sports and health, several activities are on the program. “Two Islands, a Thousand Treasures” is being organized by the Acadian islands regional planning committee of the 2009 WAC (Lamèque and Miscou); the Amis de la véloroute de la Péninsule acadienne will be guiding people on various special bicycle tours during the Congress; environmentalists Philip Boucher and Marcel David, as well as the Club des naturalistes de la Péninsule acadienne, are organizing various activities and hikes; the Association windsurf kiteboard Shippagan-les Îles will be organizing a program of activities around kitesurfing. Youth groups will be organizing various events, such as the Académie jeunesse internationale presented by the Société des Jeux de l’Acadie and Radio écologique of the École l’Envolée.
GrandeJasette.Com: Conferences and demonstrations
“Acadie on the move” will be the general theme of the conference portion of the 2009 World Acadian Congress. “Conferences and presentations will be aimed at affirming a modern Acadie, one geared toward the future and ready to take its place in the third millennium,” said Robert Frenette, executive director of the World Acadian Congress. Various forms of communication will be used to take on several subjects that will pique the interest of the general public and encourage participation, while avoiding being solely academic in tone. “Participants will consider various themes, including social, cultural, economic, environmental and political. Conferences will be held throughout the Peninsula and will take on several formats, such as interactive forums with videoconferencing, online chats, artistic approaches, guided tours, displays, outdoor exhibits, research and traditional conferences,” Mr. Frenette said. A Women’s Summit is also planned, as well as a large economic development event being organized by the chambers of commerce. As well, the Great Youth Gathering organized by and for young people, will allow young Acadians and francophones to live an unforgettable identity-related experience during the World Acadian Congress. Finally, the Congress will host several national and international meetings of francophone organizations who will be coming together for conferences or annual general meetings.
The preliminary program can be found on the 2009 WAC website at www.cma2009.ca. Details on additions to the program will be added to the website as soon as they become available. The World Acadian Congress team is currently working on a new website that will be online in September. The new website will provide information on all facets of the event and the host region.
Director of Communications and Media Relations
2009 World Acadian Congress
(506) 384-6897 / [email protected]