Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Soirée Canadienne with Boréal Tordu - Lewiston, ME - Sept 22, 2007

Soirée Canadienne with Boréal Tordu
Sat., Sept. 22, 2007 - 5:30 PM

The Franco-American Heritage Center is preparing for another Soirée Canadienne with music, food, and good fun on September 22nd at 5:30 PM. This month, patrons will feast to another traditional meal which will include minestrone soup, Canadian baked beans, American chop suey, cole slaw and beverages.

For music, Maine Acadians have been harboring a rich musical culture underground for generations, and now, a new generation of Acadian-Maineiacs are showing their joie de vivre. Voilà, Boréal Tordu!
For Reservations: 207-689-2000
For prices

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Documentary About Expulsion of Acadians - Saco, Sept 18

Saco native and French-Acadian descendant Richard Thibodeau found the land his colonial ancestors once lived on in Poplar Grove, Nova Scotia. Thibodeau's documentary film about the Acadian expulsion and his reunion with the land his ancestors once lived on will be featured in a Canadian Broadcasting Corp. documentary at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday September 18 at the Dyer Library in Saco.

Thibodeau located the property owned by Alexis Thibodeau in western Nova Scotia before the family was expelled by the British on Oct. 14, 1755, during "le grand derangement."

Genealogical research led Thibodeau to the property his ancestors inhabited before British Col. John Winslow executed the devastating order to remove all French Acadians from their homes.

"Your lands and tenements, cattle of all kinds and live stock of all sorts are forfeited to the (British) Crown with all your other effects, saving your money and household goods, and that you yourselves are to be removed from this province" was the directive read to the Acadians just before they were deported.

This event occurred during the colonial religious wars fought with the French for control of North America. British soldiers burned the Acadians' land after the families were dispersed and deported. As a result, documented proof of original ownership was destroyed. Nevertheless, the Thibodeau tradition of oral history and genealogical records document the family's roots in western Nova Scotia, in land called "Acadie" at the time, by the French.

"Expulsion -- The Story of the Acadians," produced by the CBC, has been shown on Canadian television. "The film realistically captures the history, drama and tragedy of the expulsion," says Thibodeau. Hundreds of people have seen the film. The impact of the story stirs an extraordinary response by the viewers, he says.

"I'm surprised by the number of people who have no idea this terrible expulsion event happened," he adds.

Maine's famous poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, captured the tragedy of the deportation in his epic "Evangeline: A Tale of Acadie." His prose describes the horror as, "Naught but tradition remains of the beautiful Village of Grand-Pre."

In the CBC production, the Thibodeau's family experience is told alongside the mirror story of the Shaw family, the people who acquired the Nova Scotia land after Alexis and his family were deported. The documentary shows how the two families, who are descendants of this historical event, were affected by the deportation.

In 1760, Arnold Shaw acquired "Thibodeau Village" in a Crown land grant, offered by the British to a group of New England planters who moved to Nova Scotia.

"The Shaw family has owned this land for seven generations," says Thibodeau. "They love the land my ancestors cultivated," he says.

Moreover, the Shaw family even welcomes Acadian visitors to their property every year. "They have farmed the land for the past 350 years," says Thibodeau.

Thibodeau admits to having had a "spiritual feeling" when he first set foot on the very land where his first ancestor lived.

"I show this film at every opportunity I can, to remind people about this tragedy," says Thibodeau, "and because I'm proud to be part of the heritage described in the story."

In fact, Thibodeau is scheduled as a featured speaker during the 2009 "Fourth World Acadian Congress" (Congres Mondial Acadien) to be held in the Acadian peninsula of New Brunswick.

Thibodeau and his wife Therese continue researching the family's long history by traveling to all places in North America where Thibodeau descendants live.
Portland Press Herald - September 13, 2007
By Juliana L'Heureux

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Kennebec-Chaudière Corridor: A Cultural Heritage Tour October 5-8, 2007

Join the Maine Humanities Council off the beaten path as we travel by chartered bus through deep woods and along river roads, from the Beauce Region of Québec to Bath, Maine, along the Chaudière and Kennebec Rivers. These rivers were used for centuries by Native Americans to travel between the St. Lawrence River and the Gulf of Maine. In the 17th century, the Kennebec was a border between the French and English, and then a contested thoroughfare. During the American Revolution, Benedict Arnold led American soldiers up the corridor in an unsuccessful attempt to take Québec. In the 19th century, Maine farmers seeking markets for their products established the Old Canada Road along the rivers and, later, thousands of French Canadians and Irish traveled south to find work in Maine’s woods, mills and shoe factories.

Explore the history, landscape, and folklore of the communities of the corridor, from Saint-Georges and the forested wilderness of Jackman to the tidewaters of Merrymeeting Bay.

Taste the traditional foods of the corridor: French Canadian, Logging Camp, Franco- American, and Lebanese guides.

Call (207) 773-5051 or e-mail info@mainehumanities.org
A program of the Maine Humanities Council

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Androscoggin Swinging Bridge Dedication and Grand Re-opening - Topsham, Maine

The Dedication and Grand Re-Opening of the Androscoggin Swinging Bridge took place this past Saturday September 8 on Bridge Street in Topsham, Maine.

The bridge was originally designed and built in 1892 by the John A. Roebling’s Sons Co. , the same company that designed and built the Brooklyn Bridge. Kathryn G. Dodge, PH.D, and Linda McDonald, great, great, great granddaughters of John A. Roebling attendded the event. Dodge was a guest speaker. The keynote speaker for the event was John Richardson, Director of Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development.

This historic bridge has been rehabilitated and parks created in Topsham and Brunswick on the shores of the Androscoggin River at the ends of the bridge.

For pictures and for more information on the swinging bridge, link to