Acadian Culture Day 2023
Welcome to our 21st annual Acadian Culture Celebration! This event is focused on celebrating, demonstrating, and honoring Acadian heritage in Acadiana and beyond! So many different groups contributed to the unique folklife of Acadiana. As you dance, eat, explore, and learn, consider the impact of this history and traditions on the Acadian & Cajun experience of today!
The Acadian Cultural Preservation Award
The Acadian Cultural Preservation Award has been given out since 1999 to the members of our community who have dedicated so much of their time to the preservation of the the Acadian and Cajun traditions, history, culture, food, music, language, and more.
To date, twenty-two local individuals or organizations have received the award for their outstanding contributions in the community and the furtherance of the culture, acting as role models for the future generations, being involved with local cultural organizations, and are active ambassadors and promoters of the Acadian and Cajun culture and heritage.
• 1999 –Aldus Roger • 2000 -Floyd Sonnier
• 2001 – Cami Doucet • 2002 – Floyd Sonnier
• 2003 – Warren Perrin • 2004 – Eddie Richard
• 2005 – A.J. LeBlanc • 2006 – Karl Breaux
• 2007 – Pete Bergeron • 2008 – Elaine Clément
• 2009 – Dr. Carl Brasseaux • 2010 Dr. Ray Brassieur and Edward Cazayoux
• 2011- Pat Mire • 2012 – The Michot Family
• 2015 Barry Ancelet • 2016 – Al Broussard
• 2017 – Merlin Fontenot • 2018 – CODOFIL
• 2019 – Sheryl Cormier • 2021 – The Savoy Family
Ms. Madeline DeHart was chosen as this year’s Acadian Cultural Preservation Award recipient because of her mission: to preserve and promote Acadian culture into the future through public and parochial K-12 students. She was instrumental in bringing a French Immersion program to Vermilion Parish schools, which has grown in the past five years. She wrote a $810,000 grant to support her “Lache Pas Vermilion” program, bringing activities and curriculum not only to Vermilion Parish, but also making them accessible for students throughout the state through the Department of Education. She has established the Cajun Fiddle Club at LeBlanc, with more than 40 young fiddlers involved. She organized a week-long teacher institute to train teachers on the “Lache Pas” curriculum for implementation in more schools.
In addition, she is active in cultural and community organizations: Louisiane-Acadie, sponsor of Le Grand Reveil Acadian; Louisiana Parents for French Immersion; La Confrerie d’Abbeville, the Abbeville Rotary Club and others. Although Ms. DeHart is not a native French Speaker, she has a strong desire to learn the language. She represented CODOFIL’s French language scholarship for professionals by attending St. Anne’s University’s five-week immersion program in Nova Scotia in the Spring of 2022.
A celebration of music!
Jace Goulas is a multi-talented Cajun musician from Breaux Bridge Louisiana. He began learning drums with the Brazos Huval School of Music in 2014 with Kevin Dugas. Since then, Jace has learned guitar, accordion, fiddle and bass guitar by studying bands such as Belton Richard and the Musical Aces, High Performance, the Church Point Playboys and many more. Now at the age of sixteen he started his own band. With the help of Kevin Dugas on drums, Brazos Huval on bass, Donovan Bourque on steel guitar, and himself on accordion you will definitely want to have your dancing shoes on for the amazing Cajun Sounds of Jace Goulas & Breaux Bridge Aces!
Bonsoir, Catin is a female-powered Cajun supergroup from Southwest Louisiana. They burst
upon the local Acadiana music scene in 2006 and have been rocking the local dancehalls and
bringing their brand of authentic yet progressive Cajun music to a wider audience on the
national and worldwide stage ever since. Members of Bonsoir, Catin Kristi Guillory (accordion),
Anya Burgess (fiddle; Magnolia Sisters), Christine Balfa (guitar, Balfa Toujours), Maegan Berard
(electric guitar; Sweet Cecilia), Ashley Hayes (bass guitar), and Jimmy Breaux (drums) have an
infection onstage chemistry that brings joy and fun to all audiences. With four full-length albums,
their third release, Light the Stars (2016) was nominated for a Grammy award in the Regional
Our Acadian Culture Day is sponsored in part by the Lafayette Consolidated Government, the Acadiana Center for the Arts, the Louisiana Endowment for the Humanities, and the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival & Foundation.
ABOUT THE BAYOU VERMILION DISTRICT
Since 1984, Bayou Vermilion District has worked to beautify, conserve, and manage sites along the Vermilion, ensuring the preservation and enhancement of the natural, cultural resources for its citizens. The Bayou Vermilion District’s mission focuses on the environment and the unique culture of Lafayette. On the cultural side of our mission, the Bayou Vermilion District opened the Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park as a way to increase appreciation for the history, culture, and natural resources of the Native Americans, Acadians, Creoles, and peoples of African descent in the Attakapas region through the end of the 1800s. Through historic interpretation and conservation along the Bayou Vermilion, we strive to educate guests on the interactions of these groups and the connections between past and contemporary folklife, thus empowering guests to apply these lessons from our shared histories. For more information, please visit www.bayouvermiliondistrict.org or Vermilionville.org.