Grand Ruisseau Song Festival to feature PEI and Magdalen Islands talent

MONT-CARMEL, PEI – Sept. 14, 2012 – The third edition of the song festival “Le Festival de la chanson du Grand Ruisseau”, to be held mostly in Mont-Carmel Sept. 28-30, will focus primarily on the sharing of “Island” talent – performers from the Îles de la Madeleine (Magdalen Islands) and Prince Edward Island.

“Last year, the Coopérative de développement culturel et patrimonial de Mont-Carmel, which organizes the annual song festival, developed a great relationship with this particular choir from the Magdalen Islands that had come over on holiday,” explains co-op president Noëlla Richard. “People from these neighboring islands have an incomparable artistic richness that we want people from our own Island to discover.”

Richard adds that organizers hope this year’s festival will appeal to all age groups; its broadened program of events is aimed at children, adults and seniors. “We therefore hope that a greater number of people will have the opportunity to participate in our activities this year.”

Most events will be held at Mont-Carmel Parish Hall, located at 5786 Route 11.


First of all, historian-author Georges Arsenault will visit Evangeline School in Abram-Village and École-Sur-Mer School in Summerside on Friday, Sept. 28, to speak to students about the transmission of French songs and about songwriters from the old days.

In the afternoon, at about 2 p.m., Léona Cheney and Marguerite Gallant will host a workshop for seniors on old Acadian French songs at Le Chez-Nous Community Care Centre in Wellington. Residents of all other seniors’ homes in the area are also invited to attend this sing-along session.

Two free concerts will be performed in the evening. The first, called “Young Singers” and running from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m., will feature the talents of junior performers from the Evangeline region and elsewhere. The second part of the evening, for people aged 19 years and over and beginning at 9 p.m., will consist of a cabaret-styled singing jam session. Six local singers will each perform a few songs, but spectators will be invited to join in so everyone is urged to bring their instruments and their voices. Several musicians from the Magdalen Islands will also be featured.


A song workshop, by instructors from the Magdalen Islands choir Les Voix du Havre, is slated for Saturday, Sept. 29, from 1:30-3:30 p.m. They’ll teach songs that will be presented during the grand finale closing show Sunday night. Those wishing to participate in this workshop (as well as the one planned for Sunday morning) must register by calling 439-7998 or 854-2862.

A dance Saturday night at 9 p.m. will feature the Magdalen group Les Caprougiens, which plays several genres of music, including country, pop and even a bit of line-dancing. Admission to this dance, for adults aged 19 years and older, is $7.


The workshop with instructors from Les Voix du Havre choir will continue Sunday morning from 10 a.m. to noon.

Historian-author Georges Arsenault will give a talk called “Discovering Old French Songs of PEI” Sunday at 2 p.m.  This talk will be given in French.

A big Sunday night concert at 7 p.m. will help wrap up the festival. Les Voix du Havre choir as well as the participants of the weekend’s song workshops will present the first half of the evening. Local country band Big River will perform for the second half of the show. Admission is $7 for adults, $4 for students and free for preschoolers.

The schedule of events will be posted on the festival’s Facebook page as well as on the Evangeline Tourism Association’s website.

Government sponsors of this year’s festival are the Quebec-PEI Intergovernmental Co-operation Program, Canadian Heritage’s Building Communities through Arts and Heritage Program and Culture Days.


CUTLINE: Les Voix du Havre choir from the Magdalen Islands is shown warming up for its participation in the Festival de la chanson du Grand Ruisseau, to be held in Mont-Carmel Sept. 28-30.

For more information:

Noëlla Richard, president
Coopérative de développement culturel et patrimonial de Mont-Carmel
(902) 439-7998