The Congrès mondial acadien is not only the gathering of a community. The CMA is also a celebration of the Acadian culture, language and identity. This event, which occurs every five years, took place in New Brunswick and on Prince Edward Island in 2019 to pay homage and celebrate the continuity of Acadians around the world.
The writer Céleste Godin described it so well that the host of the 25th Anniversary Show cited her on stage:
“There are people who think the CMA is a series of shows. They are wrong. Like it or not, our people remain scattered, sprawled out on more than one continent and surviving in different areas and in different ways. The deportation is over, but the dispersion is forever. And once every five years, since 1994, we have gathered. We call a “meeting” where the Acadian people are invited to be in the same place at the same time. There are people who come from afar to feel as though they are in the middle of the action, to be surrounded by people who claim to be the same as you, to just be. There are people who think the CMA is about the host region. They are wrong. It’s about the people that show up to the “meeting”. It’s about the diaspora gathering.”
– Céleste Godin
Throughout the 2019 CMA, the citizens of Greater Moncton and tourists felt pride like no other. In addition to shows each night, the CMA included community days. A specific region was designated a host for these days. The CMA’s program also included a new addition called “Extrême frontière,” inspired by the great poet of Moncton Gérald LeBlanc. “Extrême frontière” was a “true urban open-air village in downtown Moncton.” There were artists, artisans and kiosks representing many Acadian regions.
The Louisiana booth aroused great interest. In the afternoons, in addition to the broadcast of local music, information was presented in various forms on the particularities of the region. Flyers and various objects were offered to the public. There was even a table where you could have real gumbo.
In addition to entertainment and information sections, some of the most interesting discussion sessions were added to the program. The Great Speech took place on the campus of the Université de Moncton from August 18 to 20. This forum allowed all members of the Acadian community to reflect on Acadia today and tomorrow. Linguistic insecurity is a subject that attracted a large number of participants.
During the month of August, artist Geneviève Violette presented works at “Galerie Sans Nom”. She has also written a text to accompany her works. Here is an excerpt:
“Fragility is synonymous with vulnerability. In order to (re) build a strong cultural uniqueness, we must allow ourselves to be vulnerable and express ourselves freely through our actions and words even if we are afraid of being judged by our community. To stay strong, you have to become fragile.”
The celebrations certainly had a big impact in the city of Moncton. There was a renewed sense of belonging and Acadian pride. We hope that this is only the beginning.
About the author :
Carmen LeBlanc is a local blogger here in Moncton, NB. She works as a content creator to help local businesses and brands to share their story and to make connections. Her blog Tiny Adventures Journey focuses on supporting local, minimalism, and sustainability. Follow her on Facebook and Instagram or subscribe to her blog by clicking here: www.tinyadventuresjourney.com