June 4, 2008
By Karine Godin
The eyes of the world will soon be looking towards the Acadian Peninsula for the Congrès mondial acadien 2009. The organizers are already predicting the event will have numerous positive effects and the population is eagerly awaiting this historic celebration. Caliste Duguay and Donat Lacroix, two icons of Acadian music and also residents of the area are no exception.
Versatile and well-know Acadian artist, Calixte Duguay is excited for the event to begin. For over 30 years now, Duguay whose songwriting talents shine in songs such as Louis Mailloux, Pierre à Jean-Louis, Encore debout, Poème de chair and Les Aboiteaux has been creating Acadian music and songs Originally from Lamèque Island, Duguay attended the inaugural edition of the Congrès in 1994. For him this event is synonymous with festivities, “the first CMA was held in Southeastern New Brunswick and helped intensify the Acadians pride in their culture. Following the event, many expected this enthusiasm to fizzle out but it never did.” He believes that the cultural growth we know now in Atlantic Canada is a direct result of that initial Congrès.
Calixte Duguay considers it a unique opportunity to be able to show his Acadian pride so freely and especially to be able to speak French in the Acadian Peninsula. He hopes that this next Congrès will have as a great an impact on his community as it did in the southeast even though the linguistic and cultural context is quite different in the Acadian Peninsula. Although he won’t be participating in the CMA to promote his art, he assures that it will benefit other artists and help them further their artistic careers. “This is an amazing opportunity for the new artistes out there to show people from around the world what they do.”
For singer, poet, actor and fisherman Donat Lacroix, the Congrès mondial acadien’s arrival in the Acadian Peninsula will be a historic moment for the area. All eyes will be on us which will certainly lead to many economic, cultural and artistic benefits. “This is an excellent chance to showcase our talents and what we are doing here in Acadie”.
Donat also recognizes the importance of the family reunions, an big component of the CMA. As of today, 62 families are registered. He feels that through theses activities the Acadian population can find its roots. “A tree that looses its roots dies fast. The CMA is inviting everyone to discover their roots! »
For him, the CMA is a time like no other to reunite. The gathering is as positive for the Acadian individuals as it is for our communities. He believes it’s the ideal time to create a spirit of collaboration between regions in order to help them all grow together. “The more we talk, the more we can destroy prejudices that separate us. Regional rivalry hasn’t always helped us in the past. It’s time for all communities to unite to celebrate together their Acadian pride!” he says.
Both of these pioneers of Acadian music believe that the CMA will be a uniting experience. Be it through family reunions, huge popular celebrations, thematic and community activities or even popular or scientific lectures and conferences, participants will be able to develop new ties based on a common history.
Those looking for further information on the Congrès mondial acadien can visit the website at www.cma2009.ca.