On August 15, the Acadians celebrate their national holiday, even if they do not have a “country” strictly speaking. In the Atlantic provinces of Canada (New Brunswick and Nova Scotia), celebrations and festivals are held throughout the month on the side of the Acadian Peninsula and Cape Breton. As a bonus, this year, the Congrès mondial acadien will be held in New Brunswick. This is the opportunity to discover this little-known culture - which is expressed in French - and to take a deep bath of human warmth with these other “cousins” from across the Atlantic. Long live free Acadia!
World Acadian Congress in New Brunswick
Starting August 7, all Acadians will come together in several New Brunswick communities to celebrate their culture and their diaspora. After Louisiana and Nova Scotia, the Congrès mondial acadien, which has been held every five years since 1994, therefore takes place this year in the region where the largest number of Acadians live.
It was not far away, in the neighboring province of Nova Scotia, that the French established their first colony in 1605, at Port Royal (now Annapolis Royal) on the Bay of Fundy. They baptized it "Acadie". A century and a half later, once Acadia came under British rule, the Acadians were victims of a tragic deportation that dispersed them across the North American continent, from Newfoundland to Louisiana (See our file on the Acadians). Is the New Brunswick that now lives in the largest Acadian community in the world, with approximately 250 people.
Today, Acadians defend tooth and nail, in an English-speaking ocean, their culture in French and their uniqueness, because they differ in many respects from their Quebec neighbors. Hence the importance of events such as the Congrès mondial acadien which takes place until August 15 in several localities of the Acadian Peninsula of New Brunswick (Caraquet, Shippagan, Tracadie-Sheila, Bois-Blanc ...)
Many events are planned across the Acadian peninsula to remember the tragic history of this French-speaking people, but also to discover the vitality of its current culture. Acadians and people interested in Acadia are invited to come and meet a welcoming people living in a most picturesque maritime environment. On the program: major popular festivals, cultural events, thematic and community activities, scientific and popular conferences, visits and family reunions.
Acadian Festival of Caraquet
Fishing port and heart of the Acadian world in New Brunswick, Caraquet hosts the other major event linked to the national holiday: the Acadian festival, witness to the vitality of the local Francophone culture, which attracts some 150 participants year after year. Until August 000, balls, popular festivals, exhibitions, theater, poetry festival, galas and folk groups animate the streets of the city. The song takes the lion's share with nearly 15 artists present: among the headliners, let us point out Edith Butler, Marie-Jo Thério, Natasha St Pier and the “cousins” of Quebec like Richard Desjardins or Zachary Richard.
August 15th takes place the "Tintamarre", a traditional parade where you have to "train", that is to say as much noise as possible. It takes place on August 15 starting at 17:55 pm exactly, a symbolic time to remember the Grand Dérangement (the deportation) of 1755. Acadian or not, everyone takes to the streets in disguise and make-up in the colors of Acadia, to make noise, and proclaim to the world its pride in being Acadian despite a tragic history. A festival which does not engender any melancholy and where an atmosphere of madness reigns.
Visit the Acadian Peninsula
After the festivities, take the time to discover the Acadian peninsula by crisscrossing the region around Caraquet. For miles and miles of coastline along the Baie des Chaleurs, there are beaches, scuba diving, windsurfing and kitesurfing sites. There is no shortage of water activities like boat trips, kayaking, whale watching and fishing.
But Acadian country is not just about its nature, however beautiful it may be. Among the tourist sites, one must go to the Acadian Historical Village located near Caraquet, which recreates the atmosphere of the Acadian origins. And that's not all: the Musée des Papes de Grande-Anse, the Shippagan Aquarium and Marine Center, the Lamèque Eco-park, the Cajun (a paddle steamer located in Tracadie-Sheila), the lighthouse Miscou Island, the Caraquet Oyster Ecomuseum and the Tracadie Historical Museum are among the region's other attractions. Finally, to recover from your efforts, succumb to Acadian feasts: for your information, lobster is the king of the region. Enjoy your meal !
In Nova Scotia too!
Today overwhelmingly English-speaking, Nova Scotia, the cradle of Acadian culture, is also celebrated in August. The oldest Acadian festival in Canada, the Festival acadien de Clare (July 30 to August 15, 2009), founded in 1956, celebrates Acadian culture and heritage. On the program: parades, cooking lessons, concerts, hikes, popular balls, parties for children, gathering of parishioners, boat parades, fireworks, bonfires and of course the famous Tintamarre of August 15. Each year, the Festival acadien de Clare also welcomes Cajun musicians (another name for Cajuns) from Louisiana for a party called "Fais dodo" which takes place under a huge tent. A very popular event.
Finally, the village and the inhabitants of Cheticamp, in the heart of the Acadian lands of Cape Breton, organize parties all summer long, notably with the Festival de l'Escaouette, which brings folklore, ancient traditions and the life of yesteryear back to life. And once the party is over, go on the paths of Cabot Trail, along the Atlantic, which is one of the most beautiful scenic drives in North America. You will then understand why the Acadians are so attached to their land of origin ...
Consult our file on the Acadians.
Prepare your trip with our Canada sheet.
Go to New Brunswick
Flights with Air Canada from Paris-CDG to Moncton, Fredericton and Halifax via Montreal or Toronto from € 746 round trip.
- New Brunswick Tourism Board
- Nova Scotia Tourism Board
- World Acadian Congress
- Acadian Festival of Caraquet
- Acadian Festival of Clare
- Festival de l'Escaouette in Chéticamp