National Acadian Day is observed in Canada each year on August 15, to celebrate Acadian culture. This year, there is even more reason to celebrate, as Chéticamp celebrates the life and legacy of Jeanne Dugas (1731-1817).
Recognized as a person of national historic significance, Jeanne Dugas’s life story offers a realistic image of the experiences and viewpoints of Acadian women during a pivotal period in Acadian history in Canada. (Read more about the designation, announced earlier this year.)
The event will include the launch of a bilingual booklet and video, produced by La Société Saint Pierre / Les Trois Pignons, entitled Jeanne Dugas … Raconte-moi ton histoire / Tell Me Your Story, about the life of Jeanne Dugas. Both were produced in partnership with Parks Canada.
It all starts with a 6 p.m. tintamarre, beginning at La Digue (Harbour Authority of Chéticamp), 15461 Cabot Trail, followed by the unveiling at 6:30 p.m. at Les Trois Pignons, 15584 Cabot Trail. See below for an explanation of tintamarre.
At CBU Press, we feel a special connection with Jeanne Dugas, through the novel by Cassie Deveaux Cohoon, Jeanne Dugas of Acadia (2013).
There is a book signing with Ms. Cohoon on Tuesday, the 16th, 2-4 p.m. at Les Trois Pignons.
Interested in learning more about the history of the Acadians on Cape Breton? A.J.B. Johnston’s Storied Shores: St. Peter’s, Isle Madame and Chapel Island in the 17th and 18th Centuries is a superb piece of writing on the early history of Cape Breton’s Heritage Coast.
Tintamarre: Every year on August 15th, on the occasion of the Acadian national holiday, Acadians from the Maritime provinces hold a tintamarre, a grand celebration in which people get together and march through their communities making an enormous racket with improvised instruments, in order to express their pride in their Acadian heritage. This practice has become symbolic of their identity, along with the three-coloured flag and the hymn Ave Maris Stella. It is an important component of the image promoted of Acadia outside the Maritimes. While the other symbols of Acadia originated as a part of the growing self-awareness that emerged during the second half of the 19th century, tintamarre is different in that it is a relatively new phenomenon, dating back only to the end of the 1970s. (Source)