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August 7, 2009
For immediate release

Festival in France to Showcase PEI, Acadian Culture and Honours Island Acadian Soldiers

Executive Council

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For eight days in August, PEI will be the featured province at the fourth edition of the festival la Semaine acadienne in the town of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer, on the Normandy coast of France. August 8 to 15, the town will play host to Island Acadian artists and guest speakers, government and community representatives, exhibits and the traditional tintamarre (noise parade) to mark National Acadian Day. Commemorative events will also honour Island soldiers who participated in the D-Day landings.

Hon. Carolyn Bertram, Minister Responsible for Acadian and Francophone Affairs will lead the official PEI delegation. Among others, she will be accompanied by Évangéline-Miscouche MLA Sonny Gallant and Société Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin representatives Claudette and Théodore Thériault.

“Participating in la Semaine acadienne is a tremendous opportunity for us to recognize Island soldiers who helped liberate Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer in June 1944, during the Battle of Normandy,” said the Minister. “We will be taking part in various commemorative events including ceremonies at the Juno Beach Centre and at the Canadian war cemetery in Bény-sur-Mer. “There are 31 Islanders resting at Bény-sur-Mer, including 8 Acadians. Most were members of the Nova Scotia Highlanders Regiment and the North Shore Regiment from New Brunswick.

The official delegation is also meeting with potential strategic partners such as the Forum francophone des affaires, the Council of mayors of the Coeur de Nacre region and the Lower Normandy Chamber of Commerce. As previously announced, Island Acadian artists Angèle Arsenault and Marcella Richard, musical groups Gadelle and Vishtèn will play a series of concerts during the week-long festival. Exhibits and conferences will also be held throughout the week as well as a PEI themed fireworks display.

“France is an important link in the global Acadian chain, and la Semaine acadienne in Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer presents a privileged opportunity for Acadian Islanders to celebrate the ties that bind them together, and offers great possibilities for cooperation. La Société Saint-Thomas-d’Aquin, the provincial organization advocating on behalf of Acadians, is certain that its representatives will create strong ties that will go on beyond that week,” said the President, Edmond Richard.

A PEI information booth will be set up on site for the week. From 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., festival goers will have the opportunity to speak with PEI representatives and find out more about the Island. Tourism PEI provided travel documentation such as the French version of the Visitor’s Guide to have on hand.

The festival la Semaine acadienne was founded to celebrate the Acadian soldiers of the North Shore Regiment (New Brunswick) who contributed to the liberation of Saint-Aubin-sur-Mer during the Battle of Normandy. Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were the previous featured provinces of the festival in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Festival website (in French) only:

English program:

French program:

Media Contact: Dominique Chouinard
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