Acadian communities from across the globe converge this month in maritime Canada for family reunions, musical concerts, youth events, and cultural symposiums at the 6th edition of the Acadian World Congress, also known as the Congrès Mondial Acadien (CMA).
The mission of the CMA is to foster stronger ties between all Acadians, no matter where they live. The 15-day event runs August 10-24 and takes place along 20 communities throughout Southeast New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island, Canada.
Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser will lead a Louisiana delegation of tourism and cultural leaders to Canada. Representing West Baton Rouge Parish at the event is Angelique Bergeron, the executive director of the museum in Port Allen.
“The Acadian World Congress is an event that happens every five years and celebrates the importance and impact of the Acadians,” said Lt. Governor Billy Nungesser. “Family reunions this month will reconnect close to 40 Acadian family trees.”
From 1755 to 1764, the British forced the removal of Acadian people from present day Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island.
This period is known in history books as the Expulsion of the Acadians or Le Grand Dérangement. Many Acadians would eventually make it to south Louisiana to make their new home.
The first CMA was held in 1994 and now takes place every five years. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the international event. South Louisiana hosted Congrès Mondial Acadien in 1999.
“If you close your eyes at CMA and simply listen to the music, smell the food, or hear the laughter of friends speaking and singing in French, you wouldn’t know if you were in Louisiana or Canada,” said Assistant Secretary of Tourism Doug Bourgeois. “Folks from Canada want to come to Louisiana to find out more and we go to Canada with the same passion and interest to learn about our ancestors. That’s special on many levels, including tourism.”
“I was born and raised in New Brunswick and have called Louisiana home for the last 20 years,” said Peggy Freeman, CODOFIL Executive Director.
“As an Acadienne with a foot in both worlds, I look forward to the Congrès Mondial Acadian as an opportunity to bring people together from these very special parts of the world to celebrate our histories, cultures, and languages,” she continued.
“The 2019 Congrès promises to be the next page in our shared story,” Feehan, said
CMA 2019 events of significance will include the commemoration of the 135th anniversary of the Acadian flag and national anthem in Miscouche, Prince Edward Island, on August 14; the celebration of National Acadian Day on August 15 in Dieppe, New Brunswick; as well as Closing Day ceremonies and special concert in Shediac, New Brunswick, on August 24.
Find more information about Congrès Mondial Acadien 2019 at https://www.cma2019.ca/en/.