A cel­e­bra­tion of cul­ture

P.E.I. gov­ern­ment giv­ing $1 mil­lion to 2019 Con­grès Mon­dial Aca­dien

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - THE ISLAND - BY COLIN MACLEAN EN­VI­RON­MENT

It was an an­nounce­ment wor­thy of break­ing out the ra­pure, meat pie and a fid­dle.

Many in the Is­land Aca­dian com­mu­nity gath­ered in Miscouche Wed­nes­day to hear Premier Wade MacLauch­lan an­nounce that the prov­ince will con­trib­ute $1 mil­lion to 2019 Con­grès Mon­dial Aca­dien.

The event, only the sixth of its kind since it started in 1994, is be­ing jointly hosted next year by P.E.I. and south­east New Brunswick. Or­ga­niz­ers es­ti­mate the event will at­tract up­wards of 100,000 peo­ple. It is sched­uled to take place be­tween Aug. 10 and Aug. 24.

This event will be huge for the Is­land Aca­dian com­mu­nity, said Claudette Théri­ault, chair­woman of the World Aca­dian Congress Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee.

“The congress has a ma­jor eco­nomic im­pact in the host com­mu­ni­ties. It will bring many tourists and visi­tors to the event. It also has a so­cial and cul­tural im­pact, height­en­ing our pride of be­ing Aca­dian and pro­mot­ing and show­cas­ing our many Aca­dian artists,” said Théri­ault.

Eight P.E.I. com­mu­ni­ties are sched­uled to host congress events, in­clud­ing two of the larger ones: the grand open­ing in Abram-Vil­lage and a com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 150th an­niver­sary of the Aca­dian flag in Miscouche.

There will also be an Arse­nault re­union in the Evan­ge­line Area and a Gal­lant re­union at Port la Joye.

Sis­ter Marie

“The congress has a ma­jor eco­nomic im­pact in the host com­mu­ni­ties. It will bring many tourists and visi­tors to the event. It also has a so­cial and cul­tural im­pact, height­en­ing our pride of be­ing Aca­dian and pro­mot­ing and show­cas­ing our many Aca­dian artists.” Claudette Théri­ault

Arse­nault, a long-time ed­u­ca­tor and pro­po­nent of the French lan­guage on P.E.I., also at­tended Wed­nes­day’s an­nounce­ment.

She is help­ing to or­ga­nize the Arse­nault re­union.

“It will be a re­ally good ex­pe­ri­ence of be­long­ing, a sense of be­ing rec­og­nized, a sense of re­joic­ing and a sense of sur­vival in spite of many, many ob­sta­cles,” she said, re­gard­ing the congress.

“It’s re­ally im­por­tant oc­ca­sion­ally to have a cel­e­bra­tion of cul­ture, a cel­e­bra­tion of an­ces­try, a cel­e­bra­tion of life — and to re­joice in it.”

MacLauch­lan said, fol­low­ing the an­nounce­ment, that the prov­ince’s in­vest­ment was a sig­nif­i­cant one, but worth­while.

“It’s a big thing in terms of com­mu­nity build­ing, the cul­tural im­por­tance, the iden­tity and, of course, the op­por­tu­nity for visi­tors to come and all of Prince Ed­ward Is­land to ben­e­fit in that sense,” said MacLauch­lan.

Any­one in­ter­ested in con­tribut­ing to the congress in terms of spon­sor­ships or vol­un­teer­ing time or re­sources is en­cour­aged to con­tact the or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee through its web­site at www.cma2019.ca/fr/con­tact. A sched­ule of events is also avail­able there.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

The prov­ince is con­tribut­ing $1 mil­lion to­wards the 2019 Con­grès Mon­dial Aca­dien. On hand for the an­nounce­ment Wed­nes­day were Evan­ge­lineMis­couche MLA Sonny Gal­lant, left, P.E.I. Premier Wade MacLauch­lan and Claudette Théri­ault, chair­woman of the World Aca­dian Congress Or­ga­niz­ing Com­mit­tee.

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