N.B., P.E.I. aim to host World Acadian Congress

Southeastern New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are launching a joint bid to host the 2019 World Acadian Congress, which could attract 50,000 tourists and generate $50 million.

Event could attract 50,000 tourists and generate $50M

Southeastern New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island are launching a joint bid to host the 2019 World Acadian Congress.

Organizers expect the event will attract 300,000 participants, including 50,000 tourists, and have an economic impact of $50 million.

Representatives of southeastern New Brunswick and from P.E.I.'s Société Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin signed a memorandum of understanding on Tuesday to set out their roles and responsibilities in the partnership.

They have already been holding meetings for the past two years to discuss the event.

The Chaleur region and Quebec City are also considering bids, Radio-Canada reports.

The deadline to apply is May 10.

The World Acadian Congress is the largest gathering of Acadians in the world. It is a massive reunion of Acadian families and a festival of Acadian culture and history.

Acadians are the original French people who settled in areas that are now New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and P.E.I., starting in the early 17th century. The first French settlers arrived in 1604, but actual colonies didn't take root until the 1630s.

Moncton hosted the first World Acadian Congress in 1994 and it has been held every five years since then, with the second congress held in Louisiana in 1999.

The 2009 event, held in northeastern New Brunswick, attracted about 50,000 visitors to the Caraquet area.

The next one is slated to be held in northwestern New Brunswick, Maine and Quebec in 2014.