Cape St. Mary's, on the French Shore of Nova Scotia. www.novascotiaphotoalbum.com.
Download: mp3, 10:23 minutes, 9.6 MB.
When their ancestors left France to colonize new lands over four centuries ago, they never would have never imagined the tragedy that would await.
Join four French storytellers, in their inaugural voyage to Nova Scotia. Four centuries later, one question is on their mind: what is left of their culture?
Lillianne Gaies is a french storyteller on her first voyage to Nova Scotia. Standing on the Halifax waterfront, she stopped to read the inscription on an Acadian monument to her friends, and realized the role George’s Island played for her ancestors. Despite a sadness everpresent, she rejoices in the rich accent that she found in southern Nova Scotia, so reminiscent of that of her grandmother.
Mathieu Thadoe is a storyteller who first met Dan Robichaud in France in 2007, with little to know about the history of the Acadians. Three years later, he made the pilgrimage to Nova Scotia and was awestruck by how little is known of the Acadians. He says, “Cette terre d’Acadie est porteuse aussi, du plus jamais ca.” – roughly translated, he says “this land holds what will never be again”.
Phillippe Moinier is a photographer on a mission to return to France with images of proof that his forefather’s culture still exists. Through his camera, he was astounded at the strength that remains in the culture.
Marie Helene Coupail is an author and storyteller from central France who has spent decades preserving her disappearing culture. She is shocked to hear that little is done to promote the use of the regional French, favouring instead more standard, non-dialectal, versions. This concerns her because in her community in France, the language is now extinct.
The final piece features Michel Gaies, a storyteller in his 80s, who remembers when the old French was still spoken fluently. He was moved to see the tenacity of the Acadian culture and language, and wonders, if it has already gone from France, how can it still exist here?
A Tale of Acadie is an award-winning radio documentary, produced by Dan Robichaud and Leighton Steele, hosts of Trois Beaux Canards on CKDU FM in Halifax.