Her Honour, the Honourable Antoinette Perry, Lieutenant Governor of Prince Edward Island

Message from the official ceremonial ambassador of the Acadie 300 celebrations in PEI

As ceremonial ambassador of the 300th anniversary of the settlement of the French and Acadians in Prince Edward Island, I was pleased to see Islanders to celebrate this milestone event in our province’s history in 2020. A great many Prince Edward Islanders, myself included, have descended from these hardy pioneers.

Since the 1999 Bicentennial Celebrations in Tignish, my hometown, I have taken part in numerous festivals and anniversaries throughout the Acadian community. At all these events, I have celebrated with pride our rich Acadian and French heritage, our vibrant language and our culture shaped by dynamic artists and storytellers.

This tricentennial also gave us a chance to learn more about the history of our province and, in particular, the crucial contribution of the Acadians to the Island’s culture. In addition, this occasion offered an ideal opportunity to recognize the historical ties between the Mi’kmaq, who have lived on the Island for thousands of years, and the French and Acadians.

Following this 300th anniversary, I encourage everyone in Prince Edward Island to continue to learn more about, and celebrate, the Acadian and French contribution to what is today the beautiful province of Prince Edward Island.

Lennie Gallant and Patricia Richard, Artists and proud Acadians -

Message from cultural ambassadors of the Acadie 300 celebrations in PEI

We were very honoured to have been chosen as ambassadors of the celebration of the 300th anniversary of the arrival of the first French and Acadians in Abegweit, or Île Saint-Jean, as Prince Edward Island was formerly known.

Patricia: “For me, as an artist, it’s very important to be authentic in order to communicate effectively with people. I have had the honour of representing the Acadians of PEI in musical events including Ode à l’Acadie and Searching for Abegweit, where I talked about my language and culture with pride and sincerity from the bottom of my heart... and maybe also inspired by my Island ancestors.”

Lennie: “The Gallant family was one of the first European families to land on the Island in 1720, so my roots here run pretty deep. A few years ago, an archeological dig was carried out at the house of Michel Haché-Gallant at Port-la-Joye, and I got to stand in what was once his house and sing a song for him and his family, our ancestors.”

We’re confident that the spirit of these Acadian ancestors remains alive and well on the Island. It resonates in our pride and through the music, arts and culture of those living here today. We were very pleased pleased to take part in 2020 celebrations, and we hope that people from all cultures will continue to join us in singing and dancing in honour of those who came before us, everyone living here today and all the generations to come.

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