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Organizers declare first Festival acadien de Charlottetown a success

Review by Monique Lafontaine

Jammin' at the Acadian Kitchen Party. Photo by Gilles GagnéCharlottetown was definitely the place to be on PEI the weekend of May 17 to 19. And what a weekend! If there were ever any doubts in the minds of the organizing committee, they are long gone. Months of planning paid off. From the official opening at the Carrefour de l'Isle-Saint-Jean during which local performers such as Réal Pelletier and Melissa Gallant entertained the public and the opening of the art exhibition, to the first evening with the Glamour Puss Blues Band at the Confederation Centre of the Arts, the mood was set and people were ready for more.

On Saturday, despite the not so warm weather, people came in good numbers at Peake's Quay and in even greater numbers in the evening to listen to Lennie Gallant on the Mainstage of the Confederation Centre. Much to the delight of the audience, Lennie sang some of his most popular songs along with more recent ones which will be featured on his upcoming French CD. That night again, the Glamour Puss Blues Band was on stage at the Studio Theatre, in front of a full house.

One of the highlights of the Festival was the Acadian Kitchen Party that was held at the Carrefour on Sunday afternoon. About half an hour before show time, the place was packed and the public was treated to some 30 musicians and step dancers from all over the Maritimes, including the Magdalen Islands, and to some surprise guests like Lennie Gallant who sang a number of songs with Johnny Comeau, as well as friends of the Acadian community like Roy Johnstone.

As the public was told many times during the course of the weekend, "Yes, there is an Acadian community in Charlottetown, and it's very well alive!"

This was a first and the organizers are inviting you all for the second edition of the Charlottetown Acadian Festival, in 2003, during the Victoria Day weekend. See you next year!


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