Come cel­e­brate Coat­i­cook

Stanstead Journal - - FRONT PAGE - Vic­to­ria Vanier, Coat­i­cook

When you walk into the of­fice of the co­or­di­na­tor of Coat­i­cook’s 150th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tions, Em­i­lie Drouin, it’s easy to see that, for that year-long cel­e­bra­tion, there is a lot go­ing on. The small room in the base­ment of Coat­i­cook’s Town Hall was more like a cross

be­tween an event-plan­ning of­fice and a pack­ing house, with boxes of sou­venirs like base­ball caps and beer steins lin­ing the walls. Dur­ing an in­ter­view there, people kept stop­ping in at this of­fice, the hub of the 150th cel­e­bra­tions, usu­ally to buy a copy of the new book that was just pub­lished by the Cor­po­ra­tion du 150e de Coat­i­cook, the cel­e­bra­tion’s of­fi­cial com­mit­tee. En­ti­tled Coat­i­cook racon­tée par ses citoyens, it seemed to be fly­ing off the shelves!

“Emily’s job is end­less. She’s not just co­or­di­nat­ing all the events but also a whole team of people. She is our only full time em­ployee work­ing on the cel­e­bra­tion, ev­ery­one else is a vol­un­teer,” said Coat­i­cook coun­cilor Luc Mar­coux who is a mem­ber of the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee.

“I work with com­mu­ni­ca­tions, I’m the link with all the or­ga­ni­za­tions who are plan­ning things, I man­age the fi­nances and over­see all as­pects of the cel­e­bra­tion,” added Ms. Drouin. “And she has to keep an eye on our two pres­i­dents,” joked Mr. Mar­coux. Jo­hanne Provencher, of Lai­terie de Coat­i­cook fame, co­pre­sides over the cel­e­bra­tion along with René Larochelle and works along­side Ms. Drouin daily out of ne­ces­sity for the am­bi­tious un­der­tak­ing. “I’ll have to re­tire for a sec­ond time af­ter this year; I’m work­ing at it full­time and some­times have to go out in the evenings as well!” said Ms. Provencher.

“Our man­date is to or­ga­nize a cel­e­bra­tion re­lated to our theme: Cel­e­brate the past – Shape the fu­ture. To or­ga­nize a cel­e­bra­tion that rep­re­sents us; by the people, for the people, and with the people,” ex­plained Em­i­lie en­thu­si­as­ti­cally. “At the same time, we are plan­ning many ac­tiv­i­ties with chil­dren in mind. They will write our fu­ture and we want them to learn that,” said Ms. Provencher.

Most of the spe­cial events that have been planned for the 150th cel­e­bra­tion will take place dur­ing the com­ing months, mak­ing the most of the warm weather for the many out­door events. Up next will be the RCMP Mu­si­cal Ride, com­ing to Coat­i­cook on June 7th and 8th. “It was a hell of a job to get them here,” said Mr. Mar­coux. “They will be stay­ing up at the CRIFA for five days and people will be able to go and visit them there. Af­ter the shows on the weekend, people will be able to meet the rid­ers and take pic­tures of the horses,” com­mented Ms. Provencher.

The ‘Big Day’ is to be held on July 19th, a nod to the re­gion’s work­ing class who will just be start­ing their sum­mer hol­i­days, with events tak­ing place in the cen­tral mu­nic­i­pal park­ing lot of the town. “It will be a free, all-day long event with games for chil­dren, jug­glers, clowns, and lots of sur­prises,” said Ms. Drouin. A mu­si­cal ex­trav­a­ganza with many Que­bec artists, head­lined by The Porn Flakes, will keep the party go­ing in the evening. “We want fam­i­lies to come to­gether and cel­e­brate, to have fun. But not just at this event, but all year long. It’s their cel­e­bra­tion,” said Jo­hanne.

Since Coat­i­cook people love a pa­rade and many have been miss­ing the Fes­ti­val du Lait pa­rade that stopped more than a decade ago, a pa­rade has been planned to take place on Au­gust 9th, dur­ing the Expo de la Vallee de Coat­i­cook. Any­one from the re­gion is wel­come to en­ter a float in the pa­rade and they can get de­tails on the cel­e­bra­tion’s web­site. “People who come to watch the pa­rade can dress in pe­riod cos­tume or in a fes­tive man­ner!”

An event that is sure to draw thou­sands of visi- tors to this his­toric vil­lage will be Town­ship­pers’ Day, on Septem­ber 13th. “The com­mit­tee is al­ready formed for Town­ship­pers’ Day and they’re work­ing well with the people from Town­ship­pers’ As­so­ci­a­tion. We’ll have park­ing on the out­side, at the Gorge, with shut­tles go­ing back and forth. The Open­ing Cer­e­mony will be at the Pav­il­lon des Arts be­cause we want to bring the people to the down­town area. The or­ga­niz­ers are treat­ing the whole thing like a ‘Grande Se­duc­tion’!”

And what would a big party be with­out sou­venirs to re­mem­ber the fun long af­ter the oc­ca­sion? “We re­ally wanted to have prac­ti­cal things and things that would get young people in­volved,” said Ms. Drouin. Be­sides the beer steins and base­ball caps, one im­pres­sive lit­tle sou­venir is a colour­ing book for young chil­dren. It fea­tures his­toric build­ings and pop­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties around Coat­i­cook for the chil­dren to colour, and comes with a lit­tle box of colour­ing pen­cils. An­other pop­u­lar sou­venir are the one-of-akind minia­ture paint­ings of lo­cal land­marks, all done by lo­cal artist Koni Mar­coux. Rea­son­ablypriced, the de­mand for the tiny paint­ings has been keep­ing the artist busy. “We are a vic­tim of our own suc­cess with Koni’s paint­ings,” ad­mit­ted Jo­hanne.

“I feel very priv­i­leged to do what I al­ways wanted to do, event-plan­ning, and do it in my home­town. I want ev­ery­one to be as proud of Coat­i­cook as I am,” con­cluded Em­i­lie.

For the com­plete sched­ule of events or­ga­nized by the Cor­po­ra­tion du 150e de Coat­i­cook, events that are be­ing or­ga­nized by other lo­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions in cel­e­bra­tion, and reg­u­larly held ac­tiv­i­ties, visit the web­site at www.coat­i­cook150.ca.

Photo cour­tesy

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

Em­i­lie Drouin (left) and Jo­hanne Provencher pose with the main sched­ule of events on dis­play at the Coat­i­cook Town Hall.

Photo Vic­to­ria Vanier

Em­i­lie Drouin (rigth) is busy co­or­di­nat­ing Coat­i­cook’s 150th an­niver­sary cel­e­bra­tion with help from re­tired busi­ness per­son, Jo­hanne Provencher, the event’s co-pres­i­dent..

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