‘We want to re-establish the Acadian and francophone community in Colchester County'
TRURO - Ron Robichaud can't wait to celebrate on Saturday.
© Raissa Tetanish - Truro Daily News
Ron Robichaud is gearing up to play a violin on Saturday that his grandfather would have made by hand when he was a young boy. Robichaud is hoping to perform at the grand opening celebration of the Centre communautaire francophone de Truro. The celebration runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the centre at 50 Aberdeen St.
The celebration is for the grand opening of the Centre communautaire francophone de Truro, of which Robichaud was one of the founding members.
"I'm very much excited to celebrate the grand opening," said Robichaud, who was the vice-president of the Francophone Parent Association almost nine years ago when the need for a centre was established. "What I'm really pleased about is that more and more people are aware of the centre and the services offered. This allows us to establish more of our outreach to the rest of the county."
Almost nine years ago, Robichaud said a feasibility study was done because there was no place for the francophone community to get together. The study then launched the plans for the centre.
"We started applying for funding and started programs," said Robichaud. "Our after-school program began with two children ... now we have 50, so we know this is one of the things the community really needs - some place to drop their children off before school starts and a place for them to go until they get off work."
The centre, located at 50 Aberdeen St. in Truro, is connected to Ecole acadienne de Truro, although its volunteer board is a separate organization altogether.
"This school is the fastest growing school within CSAP," Robichaud said of the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial. "The centre's services supplement the school."
Although the centre started with programs for local youth because of its proximity to the school, it has started expanding its services.
"There are more Anglophone-speaking French than Francophone-speaking. A lot of older members have lost that language so we're hoping to re-connect them with the language, culture and activities. We want to re-establish the Acadian and francophone community in Colchester County," he said.
An example of the centre's outreach is working with a group from Tatamgouche that is building a chaloupe, a boat that was used to transport sheep and cattle.
"We're working with Charles Gaudet to source some community funding," said Robichaud. "We're hoping to see the chaloupe participating in events, such as parades."
On Saturday, the public is welcome to join in on the celebration. Although it is a francophone community centre, all are welcome to attend to see what services are offered, listen to music, enjoy refreshments and see some works by local artisans.
"We're going to have some arts and crafts, and sort of a show and sale," said Yvette Saulnier, general director of the centre. "There will be a lot of francophone artists here, and our own band - ACA-Jam - is performing at about 1:30 p.m."
The event runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Local dignitaries will be on hand for a special ceremony at 2 p.m.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Grand opening celebration
WHO: Centre communautaire francophone de Truro
WHEN: March 29, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
WHERE: 50 Aberdeen St., Truro (behind Ecole acadienne de Truro, follow driveway to the right around the building).