LA GRAND'TERRE, NL, Oct. 18, 2013 /CNW/ - The Honourable Shelly Glover, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced the Government of Canada has provided support to the Association régionale de la côte Ouest to help celebrate the 100th anniversary of the birth of Émile Joseph Benoit.
"Our Government is proud to fund celebrations in honour of Émile Joseph Benoit, a personality who has left his mark on the cultural world of Newfoundland and Labrador's Francophone community and beyond," said Minister Glover. "By supporting projects like this one, we are creating opportunities for Canadians to learn more about the events and people that are part of our country's rich heritage."
The funding has allowed the Association régionale de la Côte ouest to present a variety of activities in recent months, including music and dance performances, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Émile Joseph Benoit's birth. In addition, a compact disc will be put together with music and stories from local musicians and storytellers to celebrate the life of this artist and his contribution to the community.
"For Franco-Newfoundlanders, Émile Benoit was a flag-bearer for our culture and our identity. His popularity went beyond our communities, and even beyond our province," said Robert Cormier, President of the Association régionale de la côte Ouest. "He is recognized by all Newfoundlanders, Francophone or not, for having left an incomparable heritage. Even today, his pieces of traditional music are regularly performed by numerous artists."
Émile Joseph Benoit, born on March 24, 1913, in L'Anse-à-Canards on the Port-au-Port Peninsula, was a fiddler, composer, and storyteller. Although already well known in his community, he was over 60 years old before his musical career took off across Newfoundland and Labrador and elsewhere in Canada. He also performed in the United States and France. He died in 1992.
The Government of Canada has provided funding of $26,700 through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program of the Department of Canadian Heritage. This program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage.
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SOURCE Canadian Heritage