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Thursday, May 23rd, 2013 - New Brunswick: Artistic Achievements at Bouctouche

New Brunswick

Artistic Achievements at Bouctouche

Hon. Rose-May Poirier: Honourable senators, I rise to congratulate a town in my home region that recently earned the distinction of being the most artistic town in Canada. The town of Bouctouche was recognized for its arts community in a Reader's Digest contest.

Darlene Lawson, who lives in the region, saw something quite special in this small town and that is what prompted her to enter Bouctouche into the contest.

Located at the mouth of the Bouctouche River on the Northumberland Strait, this small town in southeastern New Brunswick was founded in 1785 by the LeBlanc and Bastarache families. From those beginnings the population of Bouctouche has grown to more than 2,400 today, including M'ikmaq, Acadian and anglophone families.

A large number of LeBlancs and Bastaraches still live in Bouctouche. What makes Bouctouche so wonderful is its cultural diversity and the people who express their cultural heritage and artistic talents in their own way at festivals and celebrations and the like, as well as its vast rural landscape and its sandy beaches where life is good. It is a must-see. The air is pure and nature is at its finest.

André Cormier, the town manager, was not surprised that Bouctouche won the title of most artistic town in Canada, since the Town of Bouctouche has long recognized the talents of its residents. According to Mr. Cormier, if you go door to door, every other house is home to an artist: a singer, an actor, a writer, a musician, a painter, and so forth.

The town's reputation as an artistic community grew out of the fact that it is the setting for a play about a humble character called la Sagouine, a poor cleaning lady who earns a living by the sweat of her brow and who speaks for those who cannot speak for themselves. Le Pays de la Sagouine has become a major tourist attraction for thousands of visitors every summer.

In 2008, Bouctouche was chosen as a finalist at the eighth Global Travel and Tourism Summit, held in Dubai. It was the only Canadian town to make the final list.

It was in Bouctouche that author Antonine Maillet wrote such works as La Sagouine. As Senator Day mentioned, Viola Léger has performed the role every summer in Bouctouche and has won a Governor General's Performing Arts Award for her performance.

Congratulations to the mayor of Bouctouche, Albéo Saulnier, and especially to its proud residents. Honourable senators, I can assure you that the people of Bouctouche are warm and welcoming. As la Sagouine would say, come and see us!

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