Sebastian Manago named champion of 2020 Francophone Ignition Contest

To further develop his Double Hill Cidery

SUMMERSIDE – March 6, 2020 – Now that he’s the champion of the 2020 Francophone Ignition Contest and the recipient of the $25,000 prize, Sebastian Manago will be able to further develop his new business, Double Hill Cidery in Caledonia.

Since 2019, the company has been producing a delicious cider – a high-end alcoholic beverage made with apple juice. Manago and his expert advisers have already developed and launched the company’s first product, Nomad Cider, a traditional French artisanal cider made from wild apples (which has just won the silver medal at the New York International Cider Competition).

They are now developing other products: Seaside (New World cider), Dorian (English cider), apple brandy, pommeau, ice cider and sparkling wine. With the money it just won, Double Hill will now be able to purchase equipment to continue its development: a crusher, pressing baskets, fermentation tank, glycol system, etc.

The company intends to set up a tasting room (a large tent for the moment) to allow its customers to sample its product, which is primarily aimed at the young adult and tourist markets. Without any promotion, last year’s production is already sold out. Its intentions are to export soon.

Manago was one of three finalists in the finals of the Francophone Ignition Contest, organized by RDÉE Prince Edward Island on March 5 in Summerside to promote the francophone entrepreneurial development within the province. His competitors were :

• Ghislaine Cormier of Charlottetown, who was looking to develop an online store, called Diaspora, to sell vinyl records as well as promotional items for artists (T-shirts, water bottles and bags) and musical accessories (turntables, drumsticks and guitar picks);
• Josée Gallant-Gordon of the Elm Grove Centre, Équi-LIBRE, who was looking to renovate and develop the family farm in Alma to offer equine therapy – a mental health support service (communication, interpersonal relationships, personal limits) for children and adolescents using horses.

During the contest finals, all three contestants presented, in seven minutes each, captivating project proposals to more than 60 members of the public and the three competition judges: entrepreneur Linda Lowther of Cavendish and bankers Marc Côté of Cap-Egmont and Kirk Muise of Moncton, NB. Following the presentation of each contestant, the judges asked a series of questions in order to obtain clarification or more details on various aspects of their projects. The jury then deliberated for half an hour before arriving at its final decision.

The $25,000 prize comes from the provincial government’s Ignition Start-Up Fund, administered by Innovation PEI. On behalf of the province, Brad Trivers, provincial Minister of Education and Lifelong Learning, congratulated the finalists before announcing the champion’s name and presenting him with his cheque.

The Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Summerside Chamber of Commerce each presented Manago with a one-year membership. The Collège de l’Île presented him with a certificate for a free college course.

Each finalist received a participation certificate from RDÉE Prince Edward Island and a one-year membership to the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI.

The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency sponsored the administration and promotion of the contest. Robert Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont, gave a few words of congratulations at the start of the event.

The Francophone Ignition Contest (formerly the Dragons’ Contest) is currently in its sixth edition. Ten projects had been submitted for consideration to the contest.



PHOTO 1: The champion of the 2020 Francophone Ignition Contest, Sebastian Manago, centre, accepts his $25,000 prize from provincial Minister of Education and Advanced Learning Brad Trivers and contest coordinator Julie Gallant.

PHOTO 2: Sebastian Manago, shown making his pitch for his cidery project.

PHOTO 3: Ghislaine Cormier makes her pitch for her online vinyl record project.

PHOTO 4: Josée Gallant-Gordon proposes her equine therapy project.

PHOTO 5: The contest judges were Marc Côté, Linda Lowther and Kirk Muise.

PHOTO 6: From left, finalist/champion Sebastian Manago receives his finalist certificate from RDÉE PEI executive director Bonnie Gallant; event coordinator Julie Gallant presents a certificate to finalist Josée Gallant-Gordon; and RDÉE PEI president Christian Lacroix presents a certificate to finalist Ghislaine Cormier.




For more information :

Julie Gallant
2020 Francophone Ignition Contest
902-854-3439, ext. 227