Acadian Festival

Four days of events and entertainment in Abram-Village

The Evangeline Region Agricultural Exhibition and Acadian Festival will take place August 31–September 3 in Abram-Village. The four-day weekend includes concerts, skills and talent shows, fiddling and stepdancing, book launch, album launch, flying dog show, Acadian dances and more to entertain visitors of all ages. 

The opening show on August 31 at 7 pm on the main stage will feature the Acazing Talent Night with host Ryamond J. Arsenault, a wide variety of Island amateur artists, Mascot Acazing, a prize drawn from among the French-language performances and a prize for the youngest participant. 

September 1 will feature musical performances by local artists during the official opening ceremony at 1:30 pm, followed by the provincial finals of the PEI Youth Talent Competition at 2:30 pm. 

Gadelle (Louise Arsenault, Hélène Bergeron, Caroline Bernard and Rémi Arsenault) will entertain the crowd during the Festin acadien avec homard, a four-course meal which begins at 5:30 pm at the Village musical acadien with host Georges Arsenault. Visit expositionfestival.ca for tickets. 

This year, a show exclusively for the residents of Le Chez-Nous Co-operative’s community care centre in Wellington will take place at 6 pm, featuring the Écho du Royaume choir, from Saguenay Lac St-Jean, Québec.

La Soirée des retrouvailles (An evening of reunions), one of two Acadian Festival dances scheduled this year will also take place September 1 at 9:30 pm. Festival-goers can step back in time at the square dance concert, which will feature Acadian country-folk music by Terry Melanson (NB) interspersed with instrumental tunes by traditional Québécois square dance caller Ghislain Jutras, who accompanies himself on diatonic accordion, jaw harp and seated stepdancing. Tickets will be sold at the door only. 

On September 2 at 1:30 pm, the Acadian Festival will host the official launch of New Brunswick author Carolle Arsenault’s new historical novel Yelle, an Acadian novel with a direct link to the Agricultural Exhibition of a bygone era. There will be books for sale and Carolle will have a booth to meet people and do book signings. 

A concert featuring Caroline Bernard and Rémi Arsenault with members of their families, and Nick and Samantha Arsenault with their friends, will be held September 2.

At the Évangéline and Gabriel Dance, the group Réveil (NB) promises “100 percent French music, a traditional Acadian feel, and an energetic show that promises to get everyone dancing” at their 14th Festival appearance on September 2 at 9:30 pm. Réveil is made up of Matt Hayes on fiddle, Joey McKinnon on drums, Marc Léger on bass guitar, Nancy Blanchard on vocals, Brian Hébert on electric guitar, Kevin Arsenault on vocals and acoustic guitar, and Richard Bourque on mandolin, acoustic guitar and banjo. Tickets will be sold at the door only.

The Festival strives to present a mix of traditional and new activities to its many visitors. A new facet added to this summer’s program is the Flying Dog Show which will be presented five times on the exhibition grounds over the weekend—September 1 (3 pm), September 2 (1:30 pm and 3:30 pm) and September 3 (12 noon and 4 pm). The Quebec-based flying team showcase their canine partners doing skilled tricks like agility, frisbee, canine dance, skipping rope, speed, jumps, canine skateboarding, comedy tricks and rhythmic choreography to music including obstacles.

September 3 will feature a fiddling and stepdancing show at 2:30 pm on the main stage showcasing Acadian, Scottish, Irish and other world styles of fiddling and stepdancing. A teen show by Keera Gallant and Avery, Riel and Dax Arsenault will follow at 4:30 pm and include a mix of traditional and contemporary pieces.

One of the most anticipated concerts of this year’s Festivial is Sirène et Matelot, featuring Lennie Gallant and Patricia Richard. Sirène et Matelot will be celebrating the launch of their second album. The duo set out to explore songwriting that reflects not only their roots and influences, but also their concerns about the current state of the world. The duo will close the weekend of festivities on September 3 at 7 pm on the main stage of the Evangeline Recreation Centre. They will be accompanied by several special guest performers during this album-launching show.

The theme for the Evangeline Region Agricultural Exhibition and Acadian Festival is V’nez fêter chez nous! (Come celebrate with us!). 

expositionfestival.ca