Celebrating Mi’kmaq culture
This year’s exhibition will feature drumming, dancing, workshops and storytelling
“We want Indigenous people to enter the competition as well as multicultural youth. We’d love to see a broadening of the competitors. We discussed this last year about having a large indigenous presence to have that inclusion, to show them in a very positive light.’’ Tom Albrecht
Inclusion and diversity are going to be big parts of the 64th annual Crapaud Exhibition this year.
The event, which runs July 2830, has always been known for its heavy emphasis on all things agricultural, but it’s branching out this year to include a major presence from the Island’s Mi’kmaq community.
“What is new this year is, as part of the 150th celebration, we have as part of the reconciliation and inclusion, we’ve included the Indigenous people and invited them to come,’’ said Tom Albrecht, one of the directors of the Crapaud Exhibition Association.
“They will set up in a big tent up here, and it’s going to be a Friday night event going into Saturday.’’
Following a community barbecue at the exhibition site on Friday night, the opening ceremonies will kick off at 7 p.m. with a grand entry at the Crapaud Actiplex with Mi’kmaq drummers, a flag ceremony and a Mi’kmaq elder offering an opening prayer and smudge.
“We’re encouraging all the people to be sitting in the hockey rink and then we’ll have the entry with the chiefs and the elder,” said Fran Albrecht, another one of the directors.
The ceremony will feature opening remarks by Premier Wade MacLauchlan and Lt.Gov. Frank Lewis.
Also on Friday night is the annual P.E.I. Has Talent show. Organizers are hoping for a diverse lineup of talent.
“We want Indigenous people to enter the competition as well as multicultural youth,’’ said Tom Albrecht. “We’d love to see a broadening of the competitors. We discussed this last year about having a large indigenous presence to have that inclusion, to show them in a very positive light.’’
“I don’t think there’s any other exhibitions doing as much in this area,’’ Fran added.
On Saturday, July 29, a Mi’kmaq elder will offer another opening prayer and smudge at 10:30 a.m. before Stories of the Mi’kmaq takes place in the children’s area (green building) at 10:35 a.m.
Workshops involving bead and quill work, dream catchers and leather work (sign-up required) go from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Mi’kmaq drumming and dancing will take place 12:30-2:30 p.m., along with the Mi’kmaq Legends theatre group.
There will be hands-on workshops (sign-up required), 2:30-4 p.m., followed by Stories from the Mi’kmaq in the children’s area once again at 3:15 p.m.
The Mi’kmaq portion of the exhibition wraps up at 4 p.m. with the retiring of the flag ceremony, an exchange of gifts between indigenous youth and non-indigenous youth and a round dance that the public is welcome to participate in.
Tom Albrecht, one of the directors with the Crapaud Exhibition Association, says this year’s exhibition will feature a heavy presence from the Island’s Mi’kmaq culture, all part of the association’s way of celebrating Canada 150. The Crapaud Exhibition goes July 28-30.