Provisional Committee of Acadia Land and Forests – Meeting of Members

MADAWASKA, Maine April 2009 – Members of the Provisional Committee of Acadia Land and Forests, candidate for obtaining the World Acadian Congress in 2014, presented an outline of their application, at a press conference held at the Madawaska Elementary School School, Maine, on Thursday April 30, 2009.

Representatives of organizations, municipalities, governments and influential people in the region of Acadia Land and Forest, participated in the conference. The Committee also presented the broad details of its application for the Acadian World Congress of 2014, including its vision, mission, motto, logo and its proposed geographical boundaries.

The region of Acadia Land and Forests is truly international. Uniting people of Aroostook, Maine, with the north-western New Brunswick and Temiscouata County, Quebec, gives the region of Acadia Land and Forest a unique character that cannot be claimed by any other Acadian regions of the world. The territory of Acadia Land and Forest extends over two countries, two provinces, one state, five counties, and more than 50 municipalities and community groups and includes 100,000 inhabitants.

Whether for Acadia or any other major groups, it will be necessary to look long and hard to find another part of the world capable of taking advantage of regional, political, demographic, economic, cultural which this application offers.

It is for this reason that the idea of hosting the Acadian World Congress of 2014 in our region quickly and easily find not only a consensus, but above all a willingness to show the world that strength and friendship of the citizens who make up Acadian Land and Forests, transcend the divisions imposed by borders.

We expect to host more than 50,000 new visitors and friends, and 600,000 participants in various activities of the World Acadian Congress in 2014. The budget of the event is approximately $13 million, which would create economic benefits for the region as much as $50 million dollars and would be the largest event socio-economic and cultural-historical for the region of Acadia Land and Forests.

Without disclosing all the details of their program, the Committee noted that there will be activities of all kinds and for all tastes equally distributed throughout the country and conducted throughout the Congress, during the three weeks between late July and mid-August 2014.

These activities will include ceremonies and an opening show, activities for celebrating the festival of August 15, many family reunions, a series of conferences, an international showcase, special events and live shows, for enjoyment of all ages, as well as a spectacular ceremony and closing performances, and a series of historical activities. In summary, more than 200 activities will be presented. We also plan a series of activities from 2010 to 2014. Also, a major activity with international partners will be held in 2013.

If the St. John Valley bid is confirmed, members of the Committee believe that the road to be traveled for the next five years is as important as the three weeks of the Congress itself. Needless to say, the Congress will bring a renewed acadienne pride in the north-western New Brunswick region, as well as an assurance of renewed French language by the participating institutions of Maine, as well as a renewed historical Acadian interest by our cousins in Temiscouata, Quebec.

Moreover, Maine is a major player in the event. This state has the highest proportion of Acadians in the United States. They deserve to be known and recognized as such. The event is both important for the region and throughout the Acadiana World.

Since September 2008, the committee’s work has borne fruit. It has received unequivocal support of virtually all organizations of the territory of the Acadian Forest and Land. Some sixty reunions and meetings were held with agencies and municipalities. In addition, all levels of government were contacted by members of the Committee, including the Governor of Maine, John Baldacci, the Premier of New Brunswick, Shawn Graham and Quebec Premier Jean Charest.

On April 3rd, the Committee, through the delegates from each of the sub-regions of Acadia Land and Forests, submitted their formal bid documents to the office of the Société nationale de l’Acadie. At the end of June, the Committee will meet members of the Selection Committee of the 2014 World Congress. The winning bid will be announced in August 2009 at the ‘Congres Mondial Acadien’ being held in the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick.

L’Acadie des Terres et Forêts is seeking the privilege and honor to be the host of the World Acadian Congress in 2014, to be celebrated as “l’Acadie in the world: a new Acadia! .