New Brunswick

Justin Trudeau helps mark national Acadian Day in Caraquet

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Caraquet for the Acadian national holiday celebration on Monday, while music and events are happening across the province.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Caraquet on Monday to celebrate National Acadian Day

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves to a crowd of 20,000 people at Caraquet's Acadian Day festivities, August 15. (Bridget Yard/CBC)

Acadians all over New Brunswick are celebrating National Acadian Day, with events being held all over the province to celebrate their history and culture.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was in Caraquet on Monday and participated in the annual tintamarre.

Trudeau said in a statement that Acadians have helped shape Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau makes his way through the crowd in Caraquet at Acadian Day celebrations on Monday. (Bridget Yard/CBC)
"Despite many hardships, Acadians have showed strength in maintaining their distinct identity over the centuries," Trudeau said.

"Their determination and resilience have been visible throughout history, and have preserved a vibrant culture, a rich set of customs, and a beautiful language that continue to enrich our country today."

Bystanders in Caraquet were thrilled to watch Trudeau walk in the tintamarre.

Some sported T-shirts with Acadian flags printed on them, with "Trudeau" stamped across it.

"It's a time where our people decided to be distinct and say we're not going to be erased from the history books," said Grande Anse resident Nathan Dimitroff, lining up to watch the prime minister.

"We're gonna continue on through culture and music and dance."

Caraquet's annual tintamarre attracted 20,000 Acadians and non-Acadians, including people from Quebec and France.

"We came here to travel around Quebec and Acadie and we saw this big huge festival," said Sebastien Dufour, visiting from Lyons, France.

"We heard about it a little bit, but now we see the french flag all around here with a little yellow!"

Concert aims to unify

Moncton celebrated the day with the third day of Acadie Rock, an annual music and arts festival.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau poses for a selfie with a young Acadian in Caraquet on Monday. (Bridget Yard/CBC)
The day started at 1 p.m. with a block party at the Aberdeen Cultural Centre, followed by a tintamarre. The day ended with a free outdoor concert headlined by Les Hay Babies.

Marc Arsenault, the organizer of Acadie Rock, said that in a increasingly divisive atmosphere the festival is striving for inclusiveness among cultural groups.

"It's about inviting the whole community to just celebrate with us, especially in times when we have things like the Anglophone Rights Society where that kind of stuff is so in the past for me," said Arsenault.

Marc "Chops" Arsenault is the organizer of Acadie Rock

Saint John festivities

Saint John is also getting in on the activities.

The celebrations started with the raising of the Acadian flag at City Hall at 3 p.m.

The New Brunswick Museum had a tintamarre starting at the museum and other activities.

Nicole Arsenault-Sluyter is the director of finance for ARCf.

Nicole Arsenault-Sluyter, the director of finance for the Regional Association of Francophone Communities, said the day is important to Acadians.

"Today is our big day. The day to celebrate all across the Maritimes, New Brunswick and Acadians are celebrating today," said Arsenault-Sluyter.

Finally, the capital region celebrated the day with a bazaar and family picnic in Officers' Square.

The family activities cap off with a free concert at the square Monday evening., while the party continues for the 19+ crowd at Dolan's Pub.

With files from Information Morning Moncton and Saint John