Acadians of Fredericton

The History of the Cyr Family is one of the panels from the Acadian exhibit launched in 2010

The History of the Cyr Family is one of the panels from the Acadian exhibit launched in 2010

The York Sunbury Museum, through a partnership with the New Brunswick Capital Commission, gave their Acadian exhibit a new look in 2010.

Curated by Dr. Sheila Andrew, Acadians of Fredericton is one of the York Sunbury Museum’s seven permanent exhibits and presents some of the interesting history of the Acadians in the Fredericton region of New Brunswick.

The Acadians are the main French-speaking community of the Canadian Maritimes and many are the descendants of the seventeenth century settlers. The French Governor, Villebon, built Fort Nashwaak on the site of modern day Fredericton in 1692, and New England forces besieged it unsuccessfully in 1696. The fort served as the capital of the Acadian colony during its short existence. Acadian traders and farmers had already settled on the shores and a village was established on St. Anne’s Point until it was destroyed in 1759 during the Seven Year’s War. This exhibit includes the history of the Acadian flag, the Acadians who remained in the Fredericton area and those who returned to it, Acadians in Education and the Cyr family as well as an overview of Acadian history of the province and the growth of a vibrant Acadian culture in the town.

A graduate of the University of Oxford and of the University of New Brunswick, the curator Dr. Andrew is the author of The Development of Elites in Acadian New Brunswick, 1861-1881. She recently retired from the History Department at St. Thomas University though returns frequently to teach on a part-time basis. Dr. Andrew has published papers on several aspects of nineteenth-century Acadia including the use of jokes, the role of women teachers, and the contribution of convent schools to the development of French in New Brunswick.

The exhibit features artefacts from the Village Historique Acadien, Kings Landing, The Lieutenant Governor of New Brunswick and the Cormier family as well as a trunk of replica Acadian costumes for visitors to try on. The York Sunbury Museum is grateful to our partners and volunteers who assisted with the creation and installation of the exhibit, our volunteer translators (Uta Doerr, Clarence Robichaud and Donald Albert) who worked for months on the project, Louise Melancon for the costume of Evangeline, Joanne Venart for the replica Acadian clothes and Charlotte for the interpretive panel design. Thanks are also extended to Tara Curwin and Melissa Dunnett for their work on the computer station in the gallery.

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