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April 16, 2009
For immediate release

Prince Edward Island to be Featured Province at Festival in France

Executive Council

Prince Edward Island will be the featured province at this year’s edition of La Semaine acadienne (Acadian Week), August 8 to15, in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer on the Normandy coast of France. The festival showcases Acadian culture and heritage and highlights the contribution of Canadian soldiers who helped liberate Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer during the Battle of Normandy.

“Our foremost Acadian talents will be on hand to represent PEI during the week-long festival,” said Hon. Carolyn Bertram, Minister responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs. “Award-winning artists like Angèle Arsenault, Vishtèn, Marcella Richard and all-female group Gadelle will put the spotlight on the richness of PEI’s Acadian culture. The Government of PEI is proud to be associated with this festival and to promote the Island’s Acadian culture on the international stage.”

Other activities planned include photo exhibits about PEI, interpretive talks by Father Éloi Arsenault, and the traditional tintamarre (noise parade) to celebrate National Acadian Day on August 15. Father Arsenault will also celebrate a commemorative mass on that day.

“PEI’s presence in Saint-Aubin provides an opportunity for us to recognize the significant sacrifice and invaluable contribution of our Island soldiers to the Battle of Normandy,” added Minister Bertram. In addition to the cultural component of the festival, commemorative ceremonies to honour Island soldiers are planned at Juno Beach, at the Canadian war cemetery in Bény-sur-Mer and at the Brèche des Acadiens.

The Chair of the Société Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin, Edmond Richard, recognizes the importance of this event bringing together Prince Edward Island and the community of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, during the Semaine acadienne. “The upcoming commemorations and celebrations are examples of the friendship and history that Acadians from around the world share, particularly those from France and the Atlantic Provinces. Our delegates, Claudette and Theo Theriault, will certainly be able to promote awareness of the Island’s Acadian and Francophone community among our cousins from Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer and develop very strong ties with them for the future. We want to wish the entire Island delegation an excellent stay and a very good Semaine acadienne,” he indicated.


Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer is a seaside resort on the Normandy coast of France. On June 6, 1944, Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy which eventually led to the end of World War II. Canadian troops were assigned the zone known as Juno Beach which extends from Courseulles-sur-Mer to Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer. This is the fourth edition of La Semaine acadienne, created to celebrate the Acadian soldiers of the North Shore Regiment (New Brunswick) who contributed to the liberation of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were the previous featured provinces of the festival in 2007 and 2008 respectively. The festival website (French only) is

Media Contact: Cecile Arsenault
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