Three finalists announced for Francophone Ignition Contest

To compete for $25,000 during March 5th finals

WELLINGTON – Feb. 19, 2020 – An online store for the sale of vinyl records, equipment for the ongoing development of a cider house and renovated facilities for an equine therapy service for youth groups: these are the three entrepreneurial development projects that will compete for a hefty prize of $25,000 Thursday, March 5, at 7 p.m. at the Centre Belle-Alliance in Summerside.

The promoters of these projects – Ghislaine Cormier, Sebastian Manago and Josée Gallant-Gordon respectively – have officially been named the finalists of the 2020 edition of RDÉE Prince Edward Island’s Francophone Ignition Contest. Pre-selection judges Henri Gallant, formerly of HMS Office Supplies, Sheila May Muttart of the Évangéline-Central Credit Union and Heather Rossiter of Innovation ÎPÉ chose these three from among the 10 submissions that had been received.

Using samples and audio-visual presentations, the three finalists will each be given just seven minutes to present their projects to three Atlantic Canadian judges, all of whom are business or financial experts, in a style similar to the TV shows « Dragons’ Den » and « Shark Tank ». They will then be asked to answer pointed questions to demonstrate that they know every aspect of their project. The judges will then determine which project is the most impressive and has the highest probability of success.

The winner will then receive the cash prize (from the Innovation PEI’s Ignition Start-Up Fund) to help them get their project off the ground. The Collège de l’Île will also offer that person a free course and the Summerside and Charlottetown Chambers of Commerce will both offer a free one-year membership. The Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI will offer each of the three finalists a free membership and a pair of tickets to attend the 2020 Entrepreneurs’ Gala.

The public is invited to come and watch the final competition (held in French) free of charge as it takes place in the Entre-deux-mers Room for a first time (rather than in the center’s gym). While the judges are deliberating, attendees will be entertained by beautiful music by Caroline Bernard and Rémi Arsenault. They will also be able to enjoy delicious snacks.

In addition to the partners already mentioned, the contest is sponsored by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Here is a brief overview of the three finalists’ projects.

DIASPORA AND DIASPORA PLUS+ (Ghislaine Cormier) – Charlottetown-based Kaneshii Vinyl Press has been doing wonders in the vinyl record pressing business since 2016. It wants to launch an online store, called Diaspora, to sell records to the public. It will feature sections for Acadian music, francophone music and world music. It also wants to launch Diaspora Plus +, a catalogue of promotional products for musical artists (clothing, stickers, water bottles, buttons, bags, etc.) and various musical accessories (guitar picks, drumsticks, turntables, etc.). Finally, it wants to set up a distribution and delivery service for its products.


DOUBLE HILL CIDERY (Sebastian Manago) – Since 2019, the new Double Hill Cidery in Caledonia has been producing a delicious cider – a high quality alcoholic beverage made with apple juice. Owner Sebastian Manago and his expert advisors developed and launched his first product, Nomad Cider, a traditional French artisanal cider made from wild apples. They are currently developing other products: Seaside (New World cider), Dorian (English cider), apple brandy, pommeau, ice cider, sparkling wine, etc. Double Hill must now purchase equipment to continue its development: a crusher, pressing baskets, a fermentation tank, a glycol system, etc.


ELM GROVE CENTRE, ÉQUI-LIBRE (Josée Gallant-Gordon) – Josée Gallant-Gordon and Bobby Gordon offer horse breeding and lodging services on their farm in Alma. Certified in equine-assisted mental health therapy, Josée wants to further develop her equine therapy service to offer a therapy program for groups of French- and English-speaking intermediate and elementary school children. Delivered with the help of horses, her sessions will help youth with communication, interpersonal relationships, personal boundaries, etc. In order to do so, Elm Grove Centre, Équi-LIBRE, must carry out major renovations to its facilities to improve its barns and to set up a group room (psycho-education, yoga, music therapy, etc.).


For more information:

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