Count­down to Coat­i­cook Celebration

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Coat­i­cook

The New Year is ap­proach­ing fast and with it comes the 150th an­niver­sary of the City of Coat­i­cook, a mile­stone that will be cel­e­brated through­out the year in the “Pearl of the Town­ships”.

“We be­gan work­ing on the city’s an­niver­sary back in 2011,” said Jo­hanne Provencher who co-pre­sides over the Fetes

du 150e de Coat­i­cook along with René Larochelle. Al­though per­haps bet­ter known for her tal­ent in the food in­dus­try, where she was in­stru­men­tal in the mon­u­men­tal growth of her fam­ily’s busi­ness, the Lai­terie

de Coat­i­cook, dur­ing the last 37 years be­fore she semi-re­tired, Ms. Provencher has al­ways been ac­tive in her com­mu­nity. “I’ve al­ways been in­volved in many sec­tors: agri­cul­ture, cul­ture, in­dus­try, ed­u­ca­tion; I love it all. I ac­cepted the po­si­tion to be co-pres­i­dent of the an­niver­sary be­cause I’m pas­sion­ate about Coat­i­cook,” she said in an in­ter­view with the Stanstead Jour­nal.

The city has been ‘ warm­ing up’ for the celebration for a few years now, restor­ing many of the down­town build­ings, fa­cades and, more re­cently, spruc­ing up its down­town core with new paving, widened cob­ble­stone side­walks, gran­ite curbs and classy new street lamps. His­toric ar­ti­cles, high­light­ing the con­tri­bu­tion of many of the city’s im­por­tant fig­ures such as Wal­ter G. Belk­nap and Nathaniel Jenks, have been ap­pear­ing in the town’s weekly news­pa­per, the Pro­gres de

Coat­i­cook, for a few months. “We’ll be hav­ing events all year long. We’ve ac­cepted al­ready about thirty dif­fer­ent projects from or­ga­ni­za­tions and in­di­vid­u­als. We don’t have much money left for projects, but peo­ple can still sub­mit projects that just ‘give a wink’ to the 150th; they don’t all have to be big projects,” ex­plained the co-pres­i­dent.

With the theme of “Cel­e­brate the past, pre­pare for the fu­ture”, it’s not sur­pris­ing that sev­eral projects have been planned with the lo­cal ele­men­tary schools. “It’s a good op­por­tu­nity to make the chil­dren aware that what they do to­day be­comes the his­tory of tomorrow,” said Ms. Provencher, adding: “I re­mem­ber rid­ing on a float, when I was five years old, at the city’s 100th an­niver­sary celebration!” The year-long party will be of­fi­cially launched, in Jan­uary, at the city’s first coun­cil meet­ing of the New Year on Jan­uary 13th. This prom­ises to be a very lively meet­ing and ev­ery­one is wel­come. That will soon be fol­lowed by a con­cert, on Jan­uary 24th, at the Pavil­lon des Arts

et Cul­ture with Que­bec songstress Jo­hanne Blouin who was ‘se­duced’ by Coat­i­cook just last sum­mer dur­ing the tap­ing of the tele­vi­sion show La Pe­tite Se­duc­tion. “The show is at 8:00 pm but ticket hold­ers are in­vited to ar­rive at 6:30 for cock­tails with the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee of the 150th,” said Ms. Provencher.

One of the in­ter­est­ing projects re­lated to the 150th an­niver­sary is the cre­ation of a sou­venir book en­ti­tled Coat­i­cook – Ra­con­tée par ses citoyens. Bald­win Mills res­i­dent Ly­dia May has sub­mit­ted an his­toric ar­ti­cle, the only ar­ti­cle sub­mit­ted by an An­glo­phone for the book, that high­lights the An­glo­phone her­itage of this now pri­mar­ily French-speak­ing city. “The book is al­most fin­ished but we’d love to re­ceive an ar­ti­cle about the English churches in Coat­i­cook; there were Angli­cans, Methodists, Bap­tists… That’s what we’re miss­ing,” said new Coat­i­cook coun­cilor Syl­viane Fer­land who’s in charge of that project. The ar­ti­cle need not be ex­haus­tive, only about five hun­dred words, and dates of events, al­though wel­come, are not nec­es­sary. The ar­ti­cle can also be sub­mit­ted in English, but it must be sent in within the next month. For more in­for­ma­tion con­tact Ms. Fer­land at 819 849 9235 or visit the web­site at www.coat­i­cook150.ca.

When asked if the sales of the Lai­terie de Coat­i­cook’s fa­mous Buches de Noel were go­ing well, Ms. Provencher com­mented: “Th­ese days I’m wear­ing the hat for the 150th cel­e­bra­tions. I leave the ice cream busi­ness to ‘la releve’.” To con­clude, she said: “I’d like to in­vite ev­ery­one to come and cel­e­brate with us and visit the web­site to find out about ev­ery­thing that will be go­ing on!”

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