This summer, the Acadians of P.E.I. and New Brunswick will be welcoming the world to share their culture when they host the Congrès mondial acadien (CMA) 2019, Aug. 10-24.
The first week will be hosted on P.E.I., and events will then cross the Confederation Bridge to communities in south-eastern New Brunswick.
The CMA held its first news conference in a symbolic location – inside the Confederation Bridge, the link between the two host provinces.
As the Chorale Notre-Dame du Mont Carmel sang of the red Island soil and the choir leader played a keyboard carried in through the narrow corridor at the heart of the “fixed link” across the water, cars and trucks rumbled overhead and shook the guests, seated facing the stage.
The Congrès Mondial des Acadien will be celebrated in eight host municipalities on P.E.I.:
- North Rustico
“People are very excited and also very proud that they have the opportunity to host this major event. They’re all getting together to see how they can welcome all these people,” said CMA president Claudette Theriault. “They’ll be decorating their houses, their property, and it has already started.”
She said the last few details are coming together.
“You want to make people feel at home,” said Theriault.
The CMA will open with a five- and 13-kilometre race to begin at 12:01 a.m. on the Confederation Bridge.
“We not only open our doors to this today, but we open our hearts to this event,” said Michel Le Chasseur, general manager Strait Crossing Bridge Limited, at the news conference.
Aug. 14 will be the Day of Commemoration, with events planned in Miscouche. The congres will honour the 1844 meeting that resulted in the Acadian Flag and official anthem.
George Arsenault will give a talk on the history of the 1884 National Convention. The Miscouche churchyard will host events like live music, artisanal workshops, exhibits and an ARTisan Market throughout the day.
In the evening, the churchyard will see a square dance, and two sound and light shows will be projected onto the side of the church.
“This gives us an opportunity to share with the rest of the world just how genuine we are in our nature and just how deep the roots run here in Prince Edward Island. So many of the francophone community that’s extended in the world can trace their roots back to P.E.I. and the region. It’s really exciting for us to make that connection to bring people back to their roots,” said P.E.I. Premier Dennis King, who also attended the news conference.