Click the flag to hear the Acadian anthem

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

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fête nationale des Acadiens

Fête nationale des Acadiens or National Acadian Day celebrates the Assumption of Mary and is held August 15 (commonly referred to as “quinze août” in Acadian communities). It has been celebrated since 1882 and was officially recognized by the Parliament of Canada in 2003.

As with most other Acadian celebrations, food, music, dance, and humor play a large role. Below are just some of the many events being held in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick in 2013:

Nova Scotia

Clare, Baie Sainte-Marie, July 27 – August 15

The “oldest Acadian festival in the world” is held each year in the District of Clare on the western tip of the peninsula. Some of the activities scheduled are performances by singer Lina Boudreau, a Lobster Supper, and even a Gumbo dinner paired with music from the Savoy Family Cajun Band.


Lower West Pubnico, August 15

Le Village historique acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse (Lower West Pubnico peninsula – between Wedgeport and Cape Sable Island) will hold an Acadian Picnic (free admission) on August 15.

Chéticamp, July 15 – August 15

The Acadian village located on the northwest tip of Cape Breton on the Cabot Trail is holding Le Festival de l’Escaouette. Please visit the website for a listing of the scheduled events.

Grand-Pré, August 15
Sociéte Promotion Grand-Pré, National Historic Site of Canada


Prince Edward Island (PEI)

Celebrating Acadian Days in Rustico, PEI, July 29 – August 23

Confederation Centre of the Arts, Charlottetown, PEI

The musical ‘Evangeline’ performed June 26 – September 28

The Indian River Festival, Kensington, PEI, August 15 – ‘Celebrate Acadian Culture’ with workshops, food, and Acadian music.

Acadian Museum of Prince Edward Island, August 13, “The Fascinating World of Acadian Genealogy”.

Souris Lighthouse, Annual Acadian Festival, August 10. Live entertainment, ice cream making, sand sculpting, and Acadian food will be served.

A cluster of Acadian villages in the central part of Prince County is referred to as the “Evangeline Region”. August 15th festivities will be held at the Mont-Carmel Community Hall.

New Brunswick

Celebrate the 50th annual Festival acadien de Caraquet, August 1-15. Known for the world’s largest Tintamarre, many popular Acadian musicians will perform including Lisa LeBlanc, Dominique Dupuis, George Belliveau, and Roch Voisine.

Miramichi Town Square, August 15, the group Suroît will perform.

The City of Moncton, August 14-18
Acadie Rock 2013
2 large outdoor shows featuring the likes of Radio Radio, Vishtèn, Les Hay Babies, and Lisa LeBlanc are sure to please younger audience members (Not your grandfather’s Acadian music).

These are but some of the many events held in Acadie. Look around when you visit. We’re closer than you think.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Vishtèn plays the 2013 New Bedford Folk Festival

The weekend temperatures of over 90 degrees did not stop patrons at the New Bedford Folk Festival from listening to the Acadian songs of Vishtèn. The group performed in the air conditioning of the Zeiterion Performing Arts Center on Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening, as well as some outdoor tents throughout the festival grounds.
A short cellular phone video
The band has only three members; twin sisters Emmanuelle and Pastelle LeBlanc from Prince Edward Island and Pascal Miousse from the Magdalen Islands (Îles de la Madeleine). All play multiple instruments from flute to fiddle to feet and sing in three-part harmony. The music is a blend of Celtic and Acadian, but the lyrics are sung in French.
After the Saturday afternoon show, the group signed copies of their CDs. Although I have seen them play before, this was my first occasion to speak with them. It was like talking with old friends. Funny, humble, gracious, and charming are a few adjectives that come to mind. “Do people ask why you don’t sing in English”, I asked. Pastelle replied “Yes, they have asked, but I don’t think we ever thought about it”. Why would they? The songs are Acadian. They wouldn’t translate well or with the feeling they are meant to convey.
On Sunday, Vishtèn was joined on stage by Benoit Bourque and Son for a French Canadian Kitchen Party. The large outdoor crowd was treated to the singing, dancing, and comedy of both groups.