BOUCTOUCHE (GNB) – More than $43 million is being invested to improve the long-term sustainability of two well-known cultural attractions in the province.
Provincial and federal government officials joined novelist Antonine Maillet in making the announcement during the 30th anniversary celebration of the popular Acadian cultural experience, Le Pays de la Sagouine.
The provincial government is contributing more than $14 million to a renewal project at Le Pays de la Sagouine while the federal government is investing more than $21 million.
It was also announced that $8 million will go toward the planning phase of the New Brunswick Museum project. Of this, the provincial government is contributing $4.6 million and the federal government is providing $3.8 million.
“Today, we are announcing a significant commitment to preserve and showcase the province’s natural and cultural history,” said Local Government and Local Governance Reform Minister Daniel Allain. “The story of la sagouine brought to life at Le Pays de la Sagouine has been instrumental to the Acadian identity and culture. It is fitting that, on this significant anniversary, we announce an investment in infrastructure that will ensure the long-term viability of the attraction.
“In addition, we are committed to confirming a permanent home for the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John soon, and we are taking important steps to ensure that everyone understands the complexity and full scope of this project so that we get it right. We will be making a larger announcement in the near future related to funding this important project for the province of New Brunswick.”
Allain spoke on behalf of Environment and Climate Change Minister Gary Crossman, who is also minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation.
“The Pays de la Sagouine has been a beacon of Acadian culture for 30 years. The characters that were born in the mind of Antonine Maillet, one of the greatest ambassadors l’Acadie has ever known, continue to amaze people who come from all over the world to experience l’Acadie of our ancestors,” said federal Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Dominic LeBlanc. “This investment will propel the Pays de la Sagouine into a new phase of its development and allow it to continue to be a premier cultural destination for the next 30 years.”
Funding for Le Pays de la Sagouine will go toward construction of a new footbridge to l’Île-aux-Puces, and recent developments on the mainland, including buildings, a multi-purpose trail with a nighttime multimedia experience, a scenic boardwalk with lookouts, and a patio with kiosks.
“The announcement made today launches work that will take place over a period of three years,” said May Maillet, board chair of Le Pays de la Sagouine. “It will transform the space and will add value to the experience we invite our visitors to enjoy. And they will further enhance the beauty of Antonine Maillet’s work. Our mandate is to promote La Sagouine and an entire people and culture, here and far beyond our borders. It is an important mission, and we want to fulfill it as best we can.”
The museum planning project will include architectural design, engineering and other costing details that will allow the project to move to the construction phase.
“On behalf of the New Brunswick Museum and the board of directors, I want to acknowledge this very encouraging and significant step in the progress towards a revitalized museum,” said board chair Kathryn Hamer. “The museum is a provincial treasure, and we are delighted to know that it will receive such strong support from both levels of government.”
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