Fredericton, May 22, 2019 – Dialogue New Brunswick, in partnership with Jocelyne Roy-Vienneau, ONB, Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick, has presented the Lieutenant Governor’s Dialogue Awards to two organizations and two individuals well known for their commitment to social cohesion and their initiatives in this regard. The ceremony was held this morning at Government House in Fredericton. This year’s recipients were the Provincial Council of Cultural Societies (Conseil provincial des sociétés culturelles/CPSC); Sébastien Roy, co-owner of Fils du Roy Distillery); Patrick Francis, former chief of the Woodstock and Tobique First Nations and former deputy minister of aboriginal affairs; and the Goals Growth Grit Class at Miramichi Valley High School, represented by teachers Ann O’Neill-MacDonnell and Adam Hayward.
Representing all the generations and cultures that make up New Brunswick’s rich diversity, this year’s recipients “embody the values of our new mandate, which was made official in June 2018,” said Nadine Duguay-Lemay, CEO of Dialogue New Brunswick (DNB). “Chosen by an independent selection committee (1) from among 15 public nominees, all of the recipients embrace the principles of harmony and respect for our various communities. Thanks to their dedication, they are transforming people’s lives!”
CPSC: “Promoting an Acadia that is open to the world”
For Marie-Thérèse Landry, managing director of the CPSC, the award is a key acknowledgement of the hard work performed by her seven-member team: “Starting with a program’s underlying idea through to its organizational logistics, each project we undertake is aimed at creating links between cultures. So it is very gratifying to see our intercultural approach officially recognized today as a driver of social inclusion!”
The selection committee was particularly impressed by two programs recently conceived and organized by the CPSC: Acadia’s International Poetry Slam Festival, an annual event launched in November 2017 that attracts poets from around the world, and Vis-à-Visages, which produces photo and video-based intercultural documentaries.
“We are particularly proud of these projects, which promote an Acadia that is open to the world,” said Ms. Landry. For the past three years, Acadia’s International Poetry Slam Festival has brought the “art of words that bring people together beyond borders” in the most public of places, ranging from cafeterias to buses! The next edition is being prepared and will be held from October 2-12, 2019. Ms. Landry added: “The Vis-à-Visages exhibition is enhanced with each new edition by a photo/video collection that reflects New Brunswick’s cultural richness.” After addressing intergenerational issues in an image-based format (1st/2nd editions); Acadians and newcomers to the region (3rd edition); and Acadians and Anglophones (4th edition), the 5th edition of the exhibition will focus on meetings between Acadians, New Acadians and First Nations. The inauguration will take place at Moncton Cathedral on June 21, in conjunction with National Indigenous Peoples Day.
Sébastien Roy: “Acadia has always been and should always be a place of welcome!”
This multicultural vision of New Brunswick in general, and Acadia in particular, is shared and defended by entrepreneur Sébastien Roy as an instrument for social and economic development. He also aims to bring his vision to the wider world through the products he exports.
“We created Fils du Roy Distillery based on the idea that we have a cultural heritage that needs to be shared. To that end, each of our products reflects Acadia’s heritage and history, which is so rich in intercultural cooperation. In a manner of speaking, we are bottling our own history! Our recipes are directly inspired by historical events, as well as legends, which have marked Acadia’s past. We use the same approach for our packaging, which features the designs of local artists! It’s our way of recalling the values that built the Acadia of yesteryear and that we still uphold today, particularly as regards making newcomers feel welcome and ensuring that different peoples offer each other mutual support. I am convinced that these selfsame values will contribute to Acadia’s future success,” said Mr. Roy upon receiving the Lieutenant Governor’s Dialogue Award “on behalf of the company’s entire team”.
In the near future, Mr. Roy plans to open New Brunswick’s very first malthouse in Petit-Paquetville, together with a lab that will be used to produce yeast locally. In his view, “we will be able to develop socially and economically only if we continue to promote harmony between communities, remain open to the world, welcome newcomers and forge links between cultures. Our future is at stake, that of our society, our companies, our jobs and the entire region.“
While busy growing his business, Mr. Roy is actively committed to raising funds and giving back to the community, most notably in the form of a scholarship fund (valued at between $300,000 and $500,000) for University of Moncton students, as well as a scholarship created by the sale of Single malt whiskey for the CENB.
The Goals Growth Grit Class of Miramichi Valley High School, represented by teachers Ann O’Neill-MacDonnell and Adam Hayward: “Our students helped to make Miramichi an even more inclusive community!”
Raising funds, designing posters, making promotional videos and volunteering… If the most recent Special Olympics, which were held in Miramichi from February 21-24, were the best attended in New Brunswick’s history, it was no doubt thanks to the energy of the Grade 12 class at Miramichi Valley High School, made up of 16 students! Their determination to change the way we look at disabled people immediately won over the selection committee.
The class’s two teachers, Ann O’Neill-MacDonnell and Adam Hayward, offered this assessment: “What started out as a traditional planning/organization course became a true human experience. Their eagerness for good grades soon gave way to genuine feelings of altruism that took shape in the weeks leading up to the event. Yes, we helped them by providing them with information on professional methodology, but they were the ones who spearheaded the project. They took it upon themselves to meet after class to share ideas and raised extra funds to ensure that the athletes’ needs would be met. This award is a tribute not only to their dedication, but also to the direct and indirect impact of their work. In addition to mobilizing hundreds of people around their project, thereby earning the admiration of the athletes, coaches and the organizing team, they helped to make Miramichi an even more inclusive community by sharing their enthusiasm and ideas aimed at promoting living together in harmony!“
Patrick Francis: dedicated to promoting the First Nations
Living together in harmony is one of the values that Patrick Francis has fought for his entire life and which he continues to defend today, despite having reached retirement age. Describing himself as “surprised and honoured”, Mr. Francis’s award caps off a career dedicated to promoting First Nations’ interests and building links between different cultures.
As the first person to serve as chief of two different First Nations communities—Woodstock (1996-1998) and Tobique (1998-2000)—Mr. Francis steered numerous historic agreements to a successful conclusion, including the initiative covering forest revenue sharing with the province of New Brunswick. A man of words as well as deeds, he was named director of finance for the Atlantic region within Indian and Northern Affairs Canada in 2000 before being appointed New Brunswick’s deputy minister of aboriginal affairs in 2003. In the intervening years, his personal values of fairness and transparency earned him the confidence of four successive provincial premiers, with whom he worked in close partnership: Bernard Lord, Shawn Graham, David Alward and Brian Gallant.
In addition to being a skilled negotiator, Mr. Francis advised the provincial government on Supreme Court decisions touching on ancestral rights. His long record of achievement includes numerous agreements that led to improved living conditions for the First Nations, including the Tobique coastal erosion project and the Esgenoopenitj fisheries extension.
- This year, DNB’s independent selection committee was made up of four committed stakeholders: Roxanne Gauvin, junior actuarial analyst at Assumption Life; Nicole Nader, events and member support coordinator at the New Brunswick Multicultural Council; Shane Perley-Dutcher, a Wolastoq/Maliseet artist; and Robert W. Scott, director, public/government relations and stakeholder engagement at NB Power.
Nadine Duguay-Lemay, CEO, Dialogue New Brunswick
Phone: (506) 850-1457