Click the flag to hear the Acadian anthem

Click the flag to hear the Acadian anthem
Fier d'être acadien - Proud to be acadian

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ahhh... A day at the beach

Where is the beach with some of the warmest waters north of Virginia? Would you be surprised if I said New Brunswick, Canada? Parlee Beach Provincial Park is just north of the town of Shédiac. Due to the narrowness of Northumberland Strait and the shallow water, it is quite warm.
Please keep off the dune grass.
Unlike Maine - No rocks underfoot
You can learn more about Parlee Beach here: Parlee Beach Provincial Park

While you're in Shédiac, I suggest you try the fried clams at Chez Leo or rappie pie at the Acadian take-out on Main Street.
The Acadian take-out is easy to spot.      

Shédiac calls itself the "Lobster Capital of the World". Every July, there is a large festival promoting the king of delectable crustaceans.
Mon cousin Alan atop the statue.

Summers are short in L'Acadie. As Ferris Bueller once said, "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."


Friday, August 12, 2011

Monday is National Acadian Day

August 15 is National Acadian Day. 
This National Feast Day was chosen during the first Convention of Acadians in Memramcook, New Brunswick June 20-21, 1881. About 5,000 people attended the convention. This particular day was chosen to coincide with the celebration of Our Lady of Assumption. By January, 1938, Pope Pius XI proclaimed, "Our Lady of the Assumption" as the Patroness of all Acadians.

Statue of "Our Lady of Assumption"   
The holiday is today is celebrated throughout Atlantic Canada. The largest celebration is usually the Tintamarre held in Caraquet, New Brunswick, CAN. 

A Tintamarre is a traditional parade through Acadian communities with noise makers and instruments. It demonstrates unity and strength of the people. It also lets the world know that Acadians are still here.

The holiday is also celebrated in Louisiana by Cajuns.

Even the smallest communities recognize it as a significant event. See the article below from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, CAN.

If you want to keep your neighbors guessing and feel an inner pride, fly an Acadian flag August 15th.

For more information:

Fier d'être acadien - Proud to be acadian!

Friday, August 5, 2011

As tough as her ancestors

I recently was asked to be ‘interviewed’ for an elementary school project by my 9-year-old niece, Sophie. It was a family history project, so she chose her Grammie’s Acadian heritage. To make it a little easier for her classmates to understand, it was titled Nova Scotia - Acadia.

She will have time to learn about Le Grand Dérangement. It was decided that we would leave that cataclysmic event out. It is hard to think of Acadians without thinking of the exile, but it is not what defines us.

She did some research online and read “Evangeleine for Children” borrowed from the local public library.


She drew a large map of the area for the center of her story board.  Around it, she placed pictures of food, customs, the flag, and an interior of a typical farm house. Some of the food included fricot au poulet (chicken stew), têtes de violon (fiddleheads) and poutine à trou (dumpling with a hole).
Fricot au poulet

têtes de violon
poutine à trou

She also made a shoebox-sized vignette of a typical Acadian kitchen including people made of clay which were later painted. It was easy to see the effort she put into the project.

When the day of the ‘interview’ arrived, she was not feeling well. Struggling through, she asked questions, listened to my answers and took notes. After a doctor’s visit the next day, I learned why it was so difficult for her. She had walking pneumonia and a temperature of 101.

She wrote down what she wanted to say on index cards for her presentation. Her Mom helped her practice it aloud. She was out of school for a few days, but was eager to give her speech in front of the class. It was a warm day. The teacher was running fans. Sophie’s voice was timid at first, but when it came to the question and answer period, she perked up. She knew her stuff. “Yes. 1604, the Acadians came before the Pilgrims”. As I sat in her classroom listening to her, I could not have been prouder.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

34th Annual Acadian Festival

It's claim to fame may be "The Most Northeastern Town in the USA", but Madawaska, Maine proudly hosts an annual Acadian Festival in August. Some of the planned events are family reunions, quilting shows, art exhibits, parades, musical groups, a bed race down Main Street, and a classic antique car show.

The fun begins Thursday, Aug. 11 and runs through Monday, Aug. 15, 2011. The full schedule and links for accomodations can be found here:

The Town of Madawaska in the St. John River Valley has been home to Acadian families since about 1785.

The Town's website welcomes vistors in both English and French:


Monday, August 1, 2011

Beyond Images

Josée Vachon played two free shows at the opening of the Beyond Images travelling exhibit from Sherbrooke, Québec, Canada. The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center in Concord, NH is hosting the exhibition for a limited time. The information is provided in both English and French. If you would like to learn more, please visit

Josée played Partons la mer est belle, a traditional Acadian song.

click here for a sample of the song 

Partons la mer est belle

Amis, partons sans bruit;
La pêche sera bonne
La lune qui rayonne
Éclairera la nuit.
Il faut qu'avant l'aurore
Nous soyons de retour
Pour sommeiller encore
Avant qu'il soit grand jour.
Friends, let us leave without sound;
The fishing will be good
The moon that shines
Will illuminate the night.
As it must before dawn
Let us return on our way
To sleep again
Before it is daylight.

Partons, la mer est belle;
Embarquons-nous, pêcheurs,
Guidons notre nacelle,
Ramons avec ardeur.
Aux mâts hissons les voiles,
Le ciel est pur et beau,
Je vois briller l'étoile
Qui guide les matelots!

As we leave the ocean is beautiful;
We embarque, fishermen,
We guide our small boat,
We row with great heart.
On the masts we hoist our sails,
The sky is pure and beautiful,
I see the star shine brilliantly
Which guides the sailors.

Ainsi chantait mon père
Lorsqu'il quitta le port.
Il ne s'attendait guère
À y trouver la mort.
Par les vents, par l'orage,
Il fut surpris soudain,
Et d'un cruel naufrage
Il subit le destin.

And that is how my father was singing
While he left port.
He just barely noticed
And that is where he found his death.
By the winds, by the storm,
It was surprising and sudden,
And in a cruel abandoning wreck
He suffered his destiny.


Je n'ai plus que ma mère
Qui ne possède rien;
Elle est dans la misère,
Je suis son seul soutien.
Ramons, ramons bien vite,
Je l'aperçois là-bas,
Je la vois qui m'invite
En me tendant les bras.

I have nothing more than my mother
She possesses nothing;
She lives in poverty,
I am her only support.
We row, we row quickly and well,
I can see that one over there,
I can see the one who invites me
As I reach my arms out.

The song is included on Josée's Collection - Volume 1.