Celebrate Acadian heritage at Grand Pré July 19-20

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Acadian Days are set for Grand Pré July 19 and 20.

The Société Promotion Grand Pré organized the popular Acadian Days at the Grand Pré National Historic Site.

Admission is free on July 20 so Acadians can return to Grand Pré, their homeland and their “lieu de mémoire” (place of memory), says Victor Tetreau, and other visitors can discover the vibrant Acadian culture of today.

In addition to the regular program - talks on July 19 and the mass and entertainment program under the big top the following day, complete with food vendors and community kiosks - the société is making a special effort this year to attract young families and young adults to participate in Acadian Days.

A camping experience called “Plaisirs d’été à Grand-Pré” (Summer Fun at Grand Pré) is tailor-made for young families during the Acadian Days weekend.

From July 18-20, families can camp at the Evangeline Family Camping Resort in North Grand Pré. The weekend will be filled with fun activities such as kite building, making of seed bombs, a Friday night campfire and sing-along with Weldon Boudreau, his daughter Josée and friends Les Multiculturels, as well as the storyteller Daniel Comeau. On Saturday night, at the Evangeline Dance Hall, there will be a music concert with two Acadian bands, Les Jeunes d’Asteure from Moncton and Cy from la Baie Ste-Marie.

“It’s going to be a fun evening for all,” Tetreau said.

This year, the Société Promotion Grand-Pré is honouring the Acadian community of the Pubnicos. Stan Surette, from West Pubnico, is a founding member of the Société and a sitting member since 1997. He has been elected president of the société every year since 2008.

“How fitting then, that in recognition of his many years of loyal service, his own community is being honoured at Grand-Pré this year,” he said.

A large number of Acadians from the Pubnicos are expected to attend the Sunday event, including Father Maurice LeBlanc, who will celebrate Sunday mass and will be accompanied by the Pubnicos choir under the big top.

The entertainment program after the mass will showcase a dozen student actors from Par-en-Bas High School, under the direction of Yvette d’Entremont. They will present excerpts from their highly-acclaimed musical, La voix de la mer (The Voice of the Sea), and there will also be performances by Nicole LeBlanc from Chéticamp. Then, to top off the program, well-known Acadian singer Ronald Bourgeois will perform on stage.

For information about the “Plaisirs d’été à Grand-Pré” camp, contact Ovide Mazeroll at adjointfpane@fpane.ca, 902-435-2060.

See the full schedule of activities at KingsCountyNews.ca


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Here is the complete 2014 Acadian Days at Grand-Pré program.


July 19

Morning (In French)

10–11 a.m. - Gérald C. Boudreau, Sigogne, personnage extraordinaire en Acadie

11 a.m.–noon: Georgette LeBlanc, Prudent Robichaud et la naissance d'un nouveau monde


Afternoon (In English)

1:30 p.m.– Gerry Gerrits, From the Dykelands of Holland to the Dykelands of the Annapolis Valley

2:30-3:30 pm: Talva Jacobson, Capturing Identity: Examining the 3D Facial Reconstruction Process


Sunday, July 20 Mass and Entertainment


10:45 a.m.: Words of Welcome by Stan Surette, President of the Société Promotion Grand-Pré.

11:00 a.m.-noon:  Mass in French (under the big top) celebrated by Father Maurice LeBlanc, with the Pubnicos Choir, organized by Les Amis de Grand-Pré.


12:30 p.m.: A visit near the blacksmith shop to talk mostly about the Grand-Pré Marsh will be given by one of the guides from Parks Canada at the Historic Site. The presentation will be in English. (At the same time, Claude DeGrâce, co-chair of the Landscape of Grand-Pré Society will talk about the construction of the memorial Church and how it evolved over the years, including an interpretation of the six paintings by Claude Picard, in French).


12:50 p.m.: Nicole LeBlanc


1:40 p.m.: Yvette d’Entremont and Students Actors – excerpts from the musical play “La voix de la mer”.


2 p.m.: Claude DeGrâce, co-chair of the Landscape of Grand-Pré Society / Société du Paysage de Grand-Pré will talk about the construction of the memorial Church and how it evolved over the years, including an interpretation of the six paintings by Claude Picard, in English. (At the same time, a visit near the blacksmith shop to talk mostly about the Grand-Pré Marsh will be given by one of the guides from Parks Canada at the Historic Site. The presentation will be in French).


2:30-3:30 p.m.: Ronald Bourgeois

For over 10 years, the Société Promotion Grand-Pré has organized a series of talks that take place in July during the Acadians Days at Grand-Pré National Historic Site. These talks give specialists the opportunity to share the findings of their research on Acadian history and on the Grand-Pré region.

Admission is free.

The morning will start at 10 a.m. with a presentation by Dr. Gérald C. Boudreau on the famous French missionary Jean Mandé Sigogne who served the Acadians of southwest Nova Scotia from 1799 to1844. After a career as administrator at Université Sainte-Anne, Gérald Boudreau devoted his energy to numerous community organizations at the regional and national level. He was co-president of the Grand-Pré/UNESCO nomination project.

At 11 a.m., Georgette LeBlanc will talk about Prudent, her poetic novel inspired by her ancestor Prudent Robichaud. He was an 86 year-old translator who, along with 231 other Acadian deportees, was loaded onto the Pembroke headed for Virginia. Georgette LeBlanc teaches French at Université Sainte-Anne. She received numerous prizes for her two other poetic works, Alma and Amédé.

Dr. Gerald H. Gerrits will start the afternoon session at 1:30 with a talk on the impact of the Dutch farmers who settled in the Annapolis Valley after the Second World War. Born on a farm in the Netherlands, Gerry Gerrits arrived in Nova Scotia with his parents and siblings in 1953. Instead of becoming a farmer, he opted for an academic career and taught in the History Department at Acadia University from 1980 to 2008. He was one of the contributors to the Ivany Report.

At 2:30 p.m., archeologist and ceramic artist Talva Jacobson will give her first public presentation on the reconstruction process of the child’s skull that was found in 1996 during the digs to establish the perimeter of Sainte-Famille Cemetery in Falmouth. The cemetery was part of the former Acadian village of Pisiquid (Windsor). Talva Jacobson is preparing her doctoral thesis at Michigan Technological University and is currently working at the Medalta Potteries National Historic Site in Alberta.


Organizations: Medalta Potteries National Historic Site, Summer Fun, Evangeline Family Camping Resort Les Jeunes Parks Canada Grand-Pré Society UNESCO History Department Acadia University Michigan Technological University

Geographic location: North Grand Pré, Moncton, West Pubnico Annapolis Valley Chéticamp Holland Nova Scotia Virginia Netherlands Falmouth Alberta

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