Grand Pre announcement sparks warm anticipation for August event

Published on March 18, 2017

Glooscap First Nations Chief Sidney Peters announced two of the musical performers for August will include Grammy-nominated artist Northern Cree and francophone artist Edith Butler, who appeared via video.


GRAND PRE NS – A celebration of peace and friendship at Grand Pre National Historic Site this August will be well attended – if the announcement was any indication.

There was a packed crowd at the visitors’ centre on March 17 with six Mi’kmaq chiefs, Acadian leaders and federal and provincial politicians on hand.

The centuries-old friendship between the Mi'kmaq people and Acadians will be celebrated Aug. 10 – 13. The federal and Nova Scotia governments announced a total of about $1 million in funding for the event at a news conference Friday.

“Grand-Pré 2017 will provide the entire country with a wonderful showcase of the values on which Canada was founded and will commemorate and celebrate a friendship that has endured for more than 400 years - a relationship that helped forge our country,” said Marie-Claude Rioux, executive director, Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia and co-chair of Grand-Pré 2017.

Glooscap First Nations Chief Sidney Peters announced that the musical performers will include Grammy-nominated artist Northern Cree and francophone artist Edith Butler, along with a number of Acadian and First Nations acts.

“Our government is putting communities at the forefront of the Canada 150 celebrations,” said Kings Hants MP Scott Brison. “We are delighted to provide funding to Grand Pre 2017, which will use cultural activities to highlight the historic relationship between the Mi’kmaq and Acadian peoples, and also significantly boost the local economy.”

Brison noted that the celebration will provide a back drop for the 2nd annual MP-Chief’s Summit, which will take place ahead of the event.

Marie-Claude Rioux, executive director of the Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia and co-chair of Grand-Pré 2017, acted as MC at the announcement before a capacity crowd.

©Wendy Elliott

“This (event) brings communities together, celebrates creativity, and promotes cultural diversity and inclusion,” Premier Stephen McNeil stated. “We can come together to promote friendship and reconciliation. We are all treaty people.”

McNeil announced $300,000 in funding from the 150 Forward Fund. The Premier, who was in a jolly mood, said, he thought given the number of chiefs attending the announcement that a bridge can be built to a better collective future.
"I believe Grand-Pré 2017 is a transformative event on many levels that will bring national exposure to the historic relationship between the Mi'kmaw and Acadian people,” commented Morley Googoo, regional chief, Assembly of First Nations, representing Nova Scotia and Newfoundland and Labrador. “We as the Mi'kmaw First Nation have taken a proactive approach in promoting and integrating reconciliation at events that unite and educate through song, dance, culture and tradition.”

The event will be hosted by the four Mi'kmaq communities of the Valley region: Acadia, Annapolis Valley, Bear River and Glooscap First Nations, along with the Nova Scotia Acadian Federation.

Federal funding has been provided through four departments and agencies: the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the Department of Canadian Heritage, Parks Canada, and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.

These two young women danced up a storm at the conclusion of the announcement March 17 at the visitors’ centre.

©Wendy Elliott

For more information on programming and schedules visit


Did you know?

The warm relationship between the Acadians and the First Nations people began when Mi'kmaq leader Chief Membertou extended a warm welcome to French explorer Samuel de Champlain when he arrived in Mi'kma'ki in 1605 and established Port-Royal near Annapolis Royal.