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Quebec Communities Named Part of Grand Riviere Region…Now Will Share in Upcoming World Acadian Congress Celebration

| April 10, 2014


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Excitement about the upcoming World Acadian Congress is building. Today a caravan of Canadian dignitaries were in Van Buren getting a preview of what other tourists will get when they arrive for the Congress this summer. They ARRIVED as tourists, and as Shawn Cunningham reports THEY LEFT entirely changed.

Pleasantries and proclamations were exchanged as these Canadian dignitaries representing the Quebec communities of Pohenegamook and St. Athanase became honorary citizens of the Grand Riviere region that also includes the Maine town of Van Buren and St. Leonard New Brunswick. The four communities can now move forward in planning projects and events that could economically benefit each from both sides of the border. Nancy Troeger is the Van Buren Interim Town Manager and says “its good for all of them because we’re not alone in it we’re going to make new friends, new neighbors they hope to continue some activities on an annual basis so its kind of a starting point.” “I am very proud and honored for being here and receiving this because it was a total surprise, they did not expect it and I’m looking forward to more of these occasions where we get to meet ourselves as neighbors,” says Louise Labonte the Mayor of Pohenegamook, QC. “Its a priviledge and ian opportunity to get to know each other better in regards of the other regions Quebec, New Brunswick and Maine and for that reason I am very proud to be a part of all of this,” adds Andre St. Pierre, the Mayor of St. Athanase, QC.

A song of welcome from these Van Buren volunteers actually ended a day of time well spent touring the community including a stop at Lajoie Growers LLC to learn the secrets behind the company’s blue potato success. Above all else this trip is about building alliances throughout the region of Quebec, New Brunswick and Maine and capitalizing on upcoming events like the World Acadian Congress to solidify them.

Leopaul Charest is the Executive Director of the Congres Mondial Acadien 2014 and says “We want these communities at the end of the congress to see these boundaries as opportunities rather than barriers and we’re seeing that happen right before our eyes right today.” The timing couldn’t be more perfect for these communities to become honorary citizens of the Grand Riviere region, with the world acadian congress happening in the county in the next few months this region will be abuzz with opportunities for tourism, economic development and cultural exchange.

Organizers of the World Acadian Congress say they’re in need of more volunteers to help the summer events throughout the county community. For more information check out the official website at


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