RDÉE PEI and Acadian Chamber celebrate anniversary milestones
ABRAM-VILLAGE – June 12, 2019 – RDÉE Prince Edward Island (the provincial francophone economic development council) and the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI jointly celebrated their 20th and 10th anniversaries respectively with a flashy evening of “cocktails and comedy” in Abram-Village June 8th.
More than 100 members, current and former staff and board members, family and friends gathered for the festive and colorful milestone event. Everyone enjoyed a copious buffet of hors d’oeuvres, heard and saw a brief historic overview of the two partner organizations, hoisted a cocktail in a celebratory toast, sang “Happy Birthday” and enjoyed some delicious birthday cake.
Certificates of recognition were presented to several key people involved in the establishment and management of the two organizations. These included people who were presidents of the Baie Acadienne Development Corporation (SDBA) when the RDÉE was still under its wings; past and current presidents, coordinators and executive directors of the RDÉE; and founders, past spokespeople and event coordinators of the Acadian Chamber.
The evening wrapped up with a much-appreciated, hour-long standup comedy show by Acadian comic Ryan Doucette of Charlottetown, formerly of Nova Scotia. His colorful language and his Southern Nova Scotian accent helped clinch the show.
BIT OF HISTORY
RDÉE PEI was established in the fall of 1999 as part of a national initiative that help set up RDÉEs (or economic development and employability networks) in all Canadian provinces and territories (except Quebec) to support the Acadian and francophone minority communities. For its first decade, the Island RDÉE operated essentially as a program managed by the SDBA. RDÉE PEI was incorporated independently in February 2010.
It continues to support countless community economic development projects and manage a variety of its own programs. Two of its primary focusses are youth development and economic immigration (employability, leadership, empowerment, entrepreneurship, retention, etc.)
A couple of years after its establishment, RDÉE PEI helped set up the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce (or CCAFLIPE). It operated for a few years but then lost its momentum and ceased operations.
As the RDÉE incorporated itself, it also resurrected the Acadian Chamber essentially as one of its subcommittees and assigned some of its staff to help manage its affairs and organize its events. In the early 2000s, the two organizations had jointly organized the first Entrepreneurs’ Banquet. Following the incorporation, they revamped this formal evening of recognition into the Entrepreneurs’ Gala. Nowadays, the Chamber annually organizes about 25-30 events.
Several years back, the RDÉE agreed to take over the management of the Wellington Rural Action Centre, which continues to offer support services to businesses and community organizations wanting to take on development or expansion projects.
CUTLINE 1: Cutting the 10th anniversary cake for the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI, June 8 in Abram-Village, were, from left, founding committee president Léo-Paul Arsenault, former spokesperson Jeannette Arsenault and current spokesperson Pierre Gallant. Cutting RDÉE PEI’s 20th anniversary cake were, from left, current president Martin Marcoux, Gilles Labonté, former president of the Baie Acadienne Development Corporation, and Théodore Thériault, first coordinator of the RDÉE.
CUTLINE 2: Standup comic Ryan Doucette entertained everyone during the second part of the anniversary celebration.
For more information:
Raymond J. Arsenault
Communications officer, RDÉE Prince Edward Island Inc.
Events coordinator, Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI
902-854-3439, Ext. 231