Monday, May 04, 2009

CMA Update: LeBlanc, Melanson, and Bourque Reunion

Here's the press release. Bummer--it's on August 21--several days after I've already returned home. The previous LeBlanc reunions were held just prior to August 15. To have the CMA climax on August 23 makes no sense--to have these family reunions on August 21 is like celebrating the Fourth of July on Bastille Day.

LeBlancs, Melansons and Bourques get ready: you will be having a reunion at the 2009 Congrès mondial acadien 2009!

(LAFAYETTE, LA - May 4, 2009) With less than 100 days left until the 4th Congrès mondial acadien kicks off in New Brunswick’s Acadian Peninsula, over 85 Acadian family organizations are preparing their reunions.

The Congrès mondial acadien (CMA) is an international event that brings Acadians of the world together every five years in a different Acadian heartland. The two to three-week event features a diverse program of events such as community fairs, huge outdoor concerts, artistic performances, conferences, family reunions, sport and much more that attract Acadians from Eastern Canada, Louisiana, Québec, France and elsewhere. Seeing as Acadian heritage is the common thread connecting the participants, the family reunion component of the CMA is very popular. Therefore, as the Peninsula prepares, in Louisiana, Cajuns are planning their trips to Canada and their participation in these reunions. However, for the past few months, this southern Acadian community has been troubled by the absence of certain major families from the roster of official CMA Reunions. The Bourque, Melanson and most notably LeBlanc families weren’t planning on getting together for this historic gathering even though at past Congrès’ the LeBlanc reunion attracted thousands. Seeing an opportunity to remedy the situation, Louisiane-Acadie, Inc. decided to lend a hand and take on the challenge of coordinating one event for the three families.

Louisiane-Acadie, whose mandate it is to represent the Acadians of Louisiana on the international stage, took on the project knowing that it could only be successful if it was built on partnerships with organizations and individuals in “Acadie du Nord”. It didn’t take long for Acadian resourcefulness to take effect and numerous partners got involved in this pan-Acadian initiative. Incidentally, a date and evening entertainment were indentified thanks to legendary Acadian band 1755, a venue was secured thanks to the Town of Tracadie-Sheila, participants will be able to get information and register online thanks to Capacadie.com, great Cajun food will be served thanks to Louisiana Office of Tourism and the word will spread like wildfire thanks to CAFA (Confederation of Associations of Families Acadian in Louisiana) and FAFA (Fédération des associations de familles acadiennes in New Brunswick).

“It’s heartwarming to see Acadians coming together to make sure that LeBlancs, Melansons and Bourques also get to have a memorable reunion. When Cajuns need a hand, our Acadian cousins are there and now, we are able to return the favor on a much smaller scale. That being said, there’s no doubt that when there’s a party to be planned, Cajuns are the people you want at the helm!” explains Ray Trahan, President of Louisiane-Acadie, Inc.

Although the details of the day’s events and registration have yet to be finalized, Louisiane-Acadie wanted to announce the news now in order to give participants a chance to plan their trip to the Acadian Peninsula where numerous traditional and less conventional accommodation options are still available. As 1755 band member Roland Gauvin explains, one detail was quickly confirmed. “Since we are performing that night in Tracadie-Sheila, we are happy to offer a 5$ discount on our ticket price to everyone attending the reunion. These families are important branches of our Acadian family tree and we are happy that they will be joining us during our summer tour.”

Stay tuned for further details but in the meantime, mark August 21st on your calendar.

No comments: