Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Spirit of Evangeline - Opening at the Acadian Archives - Friday August 25, 2006

A day of special activities will celebrate the opening of Françoise Paradis "Spirit of Evangeline" exhibit on Friday August 25th at UMFK's Acadian Archives/Archives acadiennes.

There will be presentations, an open house, film showings and, of course, the "Spirit of Evangeline" exhibit itself, a wonderful collection of illustrations, music, books, films, and memorabilia which illustrate the importance and durability of Henry Wadsworth Longfellowís most famous fictional heroine, Evangeline.

Opening Day events begin at noon at the Archivesí Gallery Room with a showing of the 45-minute CBC documentary, Canadian Experience: Expulsion. Filmed during the 2004 World Acadian Congress, this documentary explores the impact of the Acadian Deportation and its aftermath on two families: the Acadian Thibodeaux, whose ancestor Pierre established a homestead in Nova Scotia in 1690, and who were deported to Philadelphia in 1755; and the Shaws, a Rhode Island farming family who received a land grant for the Thibodeaux homestead in 1761 and have farmed there for seven generations.

The showing of this film is made possible through the kindness of Dick Thibodeau, a Massachusetts descendant of Pierre Thibodeau, who is featured in the documentary and who will be present at the showing. "A number of people who have seen Canadian Experience: Expulsion have said that of all the films about Acadian history and the Deportation, this was by far the best," said Thobodeau..

At 2:00 pm, curator Françoise Paradis will be giving a slide show about the making of the 1929 United Artists feature film version of Evangeline. Paradis has immersed herself in the history of this remarkable epic film which came out just as Hollywood was moving from silent films to "the talkies." Her talk will be followed by a screening of the film.

From 6:30 to 8:30 pm, the Archives will host an open house both to honor "Spirit of Evangeline" and its curator. The seventh child of Raoul and Lucille Paradis of Frenchville, Françoise Paradis is a psychologist and a passionate advocate for Franco-American and Acadian culture. In addition to producing the "Spirit of Evangeline" exhibit, she has also produced a lavishly illustrated new edition of the poem, Evangeline, as well as a children's coloring book version.

"Evangeline is the touching story of young lovers separated during the deportation of Acadians from their homeland in 1755," said curator Paradis. "It is a tale of faithfulness and constancy, but most importantly a story of survival - the survival of a people who faced rejection, homelessness, hunger, and other adversities wherever they were disembarked along the Eastern seabord of the Unived States. Longfellow's poem, Evangeline, A Tale of Acadie gave Acadians a mirror through which they could recognize themselves and come together as a people. The spirit of Evangeline lives in the hearts and culture of the Acadians."

All events are free and open to the public. For further information, please contact Archives Director Lisa Ornstein at (207) 834-7536.


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New World Festival - Randolph, VT - Sunday, September 3

Announcing a Great Festival!

The New World Festival, one of the greatest venues in the U.S. to hear French Canadian music, takes place in Randolph, Vermont on Labor Day Sunday, Sept. 3 from noon to midnight.

The Festival also features Celtic music-a great combination with the Quebecois style. Five stages will present music, as well as dance, all day long. Randolph, in the very center of Vermont, is easily reached, as it has its own exit on I-89.

The event is all-weather under tents and at historic Chandler Music Hall and in the church. Once again, more than 50 performers from New England, the British Isles, and Quebec will offer both traditional and up-to-date Celtic and French-Canadian music.

The all-day dance tent will be filled with the music of topnotch bands and called by some of New England's best. There's also a Family Tent for children and a sessions tent. There's also a Young Musicians Showcase.

There's good food and Vermont beers and other beverages available, and a crafts area as well. Both the Canadian Consulate in Boston and the Delegation of Québec contribute to the Festival because of its role in bringing French Canadian culture here.

The New World Festival is a project of the Chandler Center for the Arts and all proceeds go for children's programming. The Chandler Music Hall is one of the finest halls in New England.

Check out the Festival and the performers at http://www.newworldfestival.com/ in both French and English.


Among the performers at this the 2006 New World Festival will be the following:
  • Le Bon Vent -Celebrating the connections between Vermont and France;
  • Cantrip -High energy traditional straight from Scotland;
  • Boulerice and Demers -Original and traditional music from Québec;
  • Talún -Duo from Ireland performing original music
  • Les Batinses -Quebecois with a driving modern beat Crowfoot-Original dance music with a Celtic spirit; Jerry Holland-Legendary composer and fiddler from Cape Breton La Part du Quêteux-Quebec's finest traditional songs and tunes;
  • Prydein -Vermont's own Scottish rock, a New World favorite. Claude Methe & Friends-Venerable Quebecois fiddler from Joliette. Gurney, Lynd & Kahle-New Celtic trio playing the tunes of Ireland
  • Sarah Blair -Vermont's own Irish fiddler and New World favorite;
  • Keith Murphy & Fairplay -A new collaboration for one of Vermont's favorite performers
  • Wind That Shakes the Barley -Irish songs and tunes Mark Sustic-Family performer in the folk tradition
  • Midnight Capers -Morris dancers dancing in the street
  • Nils Fredland-Popular New England dance caller Pierre Chartrand-Master step dancer and caller;
  • Prydein -Dance to Highland pipes with an electric rhythm section Yankee Chank-Cajun dancing with Vermont's own
  • Sharon Gouveia -Step dancer and family performer Great Bear Trio-New York State young phenomona;
  • No Strings Marionette Co. -Puppets from Vermont for children of all ages;
  • Showcase - young Dancers and Musicians from Vermont
  • Block and Marshall -Young Celtic duo from Vermont and New Hampshire; Beth Telford's Breton fiddle and dance students

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Acadian Group - Vishten - Coming to Maine August 12

The popular Acadian band Vishten will perform in Rockland at the Strand Theatre on Saturday, August 12 th at 8:00 p.m.

Vishten's music is a hardy mixture of French, Irish and Scottish styles unique to the Acadian culture of Eastern Canada, with powerful step dancing taking front and center. Their stage show re-creates the joy and energy of the kitchen party, the informal community gatherings where all are welcomed to sing, play and dance.

Since their formation in 2000, Vishten has played major festivals in the U.S. and Canada, from Lafayette, LA to Winnipeg, Manitoba and all through the Maritime provinces of eastern Canada, as well as Europe. The group has now expanded to four members: Pastelle (accordion, piano, dance) and Emmanuelle (bodhran, tin whistle, piano, dance) Le Blanc; Remi Arsenault (guitar, percussion) and Pascal Miousse (fiddle, mandolin).

All the members in the group contribute to the choreography and musical arrangements, and they all sing. On stage, they work with individual wooden blocs that they sit on, dance and play on top of, and use as percussion instruments with both their hands and feet. Audiences are struck by their whirlwind energy, dancing as they play, and by the unbridled enthusiasm they feel for their native culture.

In 2001, Vishten was awarded the prize for the best musical showcase at the East Coast Music Awards, Eastern Canada's version of the Grammys, and in 2002, they were invited to participate in the ECMA's opening spectacular along with Natalie MacMaster.

Audiences relate to the pleasure Vishten takes in performing on the concert stage, and the desire to bring their unique culture to audiences throughout the world. As they like to say, "Wherever Vishten goes, a party is sure to follow."

Vishten will play Saturday August 12 th at 8:00 p.m. (Maine Boats & Harbors Weekend!) Tickets for Vishen are $20, available at the Strand Theatre Box Office, or by calling 594-0070 or online at www.rocklandstrand.com.

Donna Daly
Strand Theatre
345 Main Street
Rockland, ME 04841
(207) 594-0070

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Reverend Charles E. DesRuisseaux - Franco-American of the Year

AUGUST 2, 2006

(MANCHESTER, NH) The Reverend Charles E. DesRuisseaux was recently named Franco-American of the Year by the Franco-American Centre of Manchester. The Centre is dedicated to the preservation of the rich heritage of the French community in New Hampshire by promoting its history, culture, and education in order to increase people's understanding of their historic contributions, cultural and artistic expressions in the past as well as in the present.

"Father DesRuisseaux is a gifted pastor who cares deeply about his parishioners and those who attend Saint Anthony of Padua Church and School," said Bishop McCormack. "He takes great pride in his Franco-American heritage as well as in his faith, and has cultivated a deep appreciation for both among the people he serves. This honor recognizes both his leadership in the Franco-American community and also his contribution to the furthering of Franco-American culture among the people of New Hampshire.

The Catholic Church in New Hampshire has benefited greatly from the zealous faith of many Canadian immigrants who helped to build many strong, faith-filled parishes that today make the Catholic Church in New Hampshire vibrant and effective. Commenting on this rich heritage, Bishop McCormack stated that "we see in the early French-Canadian Catholics the same qualities we strive for today. They balanced work, family and community life in a way that allowed each to enrich the other. Our Franco-Canadian ancestors labored - day and night - in the mills; they built strong families; and, gave generously of their time, talent and treasure to help build parish churches, schools, hospitals and social services that formed active parish communities."

"Father Charles DesRuisseaux personifies many qualities of his pastoral predecessors. In 1907, the Most Reverend George A. Guertin, who was appointed the third Bishop of Manchester, was the first bishop in New England to have both a French Canadian mother and father. He left his ministry as pastor of Saint Anthony Parish to become the longest serving bishop in the history of the Diocese of Manchester (1907-1931). It was Father Guertin who convinced the Sisters of the Holy Cross to open a parish school in the basement of Saint Anthony Church in 1904. As we note the 75 anniversary of the death of Bishop Guertin on August 6, we are pleased to honor Father Charles as he stands in a long line of Franco-Canadian priests, deacons, religious and laity who have served and continue to serve the people of New Hampshire well.

In honoring Father Charles, the Franco-Canadian Centre honors all the Catholic faithful of our Diocese who seek to serve the Lord and his people with gladness."

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Canadian Stage at Newport Folk Festival - Saturday, August 5, 2006

Dear friends,

The East Coast Canadian music scene has invaded Newport, RI! On Saturday, August 5th, the internationally renowned Newport Folk Festival will host a Canadian stage, featuring Béolach, Blou and Hot Toddy.

For more information on the festival, visit

For more information on Canadian Music. East Coast Style, visit

Come and enjoy fantastic music in a beautiful New England setting!