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Project proposed for municipalities of Argyle, Clare would promote Acadian history, culture, make more available online

Stéphanie St-Pierre, interim co-ordinator of the Centre acadien, Université Sainte-Anne, speaking at the March 12 meeting of Argyle municipal council.
Stéphanie St-Pierre, interim co-ordinator of the Centre acadien, Université Sainte-Anne, speaking at the March 12 meeting of Argyle municipal council. - Eric Bourque

A project that would enhance knowledge of Acadian culture, history and heritage would benefit the region in different ways, says a spokesperson for the initiative, who hopes the municipalities of Argyle and Clare will join the project as partners and contribute financially.

Stéphanie St-Pierre, interim co-ordinator of the Centre acadien at Université Sainte-Anne, has approached both municipalities, most recently Argyle. On March 12, she spoke about the project to Argyle council.

The project’s objectives are:

--"To create and adapt historically accurate and research-based content to enhance the knowledge of Acadian culture, history and heritage through the Centre acadien’s extensive archives and other resources.

--“To enhance online presence of Nova Scotia’s Acadian heritage and ensure that content is available for use in tourism and education.”

The idea is to partner with Historic Nova Scotia to give the project the greater “online presence” cited above.

An application has been submitted through Youth Canada Works for three students to work on the project this summer. The hope is that YCW would pay for three-quarters of the salaries for the students, with the remainder split between the municipalities of Clare and Argyle and Université Sainte-Anne. The three main partners also would share the salary for the project lead after September 2019.

“Throughout the fall, I would be reviewing the students’ work and the texts, proceeding to translations from French to English, and then sending it off to be published on the Historic Nova Scotia website,” St-Pierre said in an interview.

(The idea is that the project would be undertaken in other parts of the province once the work in the Clare-Argyle region has been done.)

The project is flexible, letting partners express their individual needs at it goes along. One need identified in the Clare-Argyle region has been the Acadian Shores interpretive tour. The project would enable the municipalities to renew the tour’s content and make it available online.

“Right now,” St-Pierre told the Vanguard, referring to the tour, “if you want that information, you have to (drive) to the sites, get out of your car and read the panel. If all that information was available through a mobile app or through a website, then students in schools would be able to find out more about the region. Tourists would be able to discover the region.”

The benefits could go beyond the tour itself, she said, given that the experience might encourage tourists to visit other sites and see what else the region has to offer.

In any case, it makes sense, she said, to make information about historic sites and the like accessible online.

“If the information is made available through more than one means, it just gets to more people and it’s all about promoting heritage and culture,” she said.

The timing for this type of project is good too, she said, given that the Clare-Argyle region hopes to play host to the World Acadian Congress in 2024.

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