The Société Promotion Grand-Pré, in partnership with the Parks Canada Agency and Canadian Heritage is organizing Acadian Days this coming July 19 and 20 at Grand-Pré National Historic Site.
Admission is free on Sunday July 20 at the historic site so Acadians can return to Grand-Pré, their homeland and their “lieu de mémoire” (place of memory), and other visitors can discover the vibrant Acadian culture of today. In addition to the regular program -- the talks on Saturday, and the Mass and entertainmentprogram under the big top on Sunday, 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. Partnering with the Acadian Parents’ Federation of Nova Scotia, the Acadian School Board and the Nova Scotia Acadian Federation, the Société is organizing a camping experience called “Plaisirs d’été à Grand-Pré” (Summer Fun at Grand-Pré) which is tailor-made for young families during the Acadian Days weekend and running through July 18, 19, and 20 at the Evangeline Family Camping Resort located three kilometers north of the historic site along Grand Pré Road.
The weekend will be filled with activities such as kite building, making of seed-bombs, a Friday-night campfire and sing-along with Weldon Boudreau, his daughter Josée with her friends (their group is called Les Multiculturels), as well as the storyteller Daniel Comeau; then on Saturday night, at the Evangeline dance hall on the rise near the beach, next to the camping resort, there will be a concert with two Acadian bands Les Jeunes d’Asteure from Moncton, and Cy from la Baie Ste-Marie.
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 was elected president of the Société every year since 2008. In recognition of his many years of loyal service, his own community is being honoured at Grand-Pré this year. 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 musical La voix de la mer (“The Voice of the Sea”); there will also be performances by Nicole LeBlanc from Chéticamp; then, to top off the program, the Acadian singer Ronald Bourgeois will perform on stage with his musicians.
Here is the complete 2014 Acadian Days at Grand-Pré program:
Saturday, July 19, talks
Morning (in French)
10 a.m. – 11 a.m.: Gérald C. Boudreau, Sigogne, personnage extraordinaire en Acadie
11 a.m. – 12 noon: Georgette LeBlanc,Prudent Robichaud et la naissance d'un nouveau monde
Afternoon (in English)
1:30 p.m. – 12:30 p.m.: Gerry Gerrits, From the Dykelands of Holland to the Dykelands of the Annapolis Valley
2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.: 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:a.m. to 12 p.m.: 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 student 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 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.: Ronald Bourgeois