We at the Franco-American Centre at the University of Maine, Orono are excited to announce a new and innovative plan for our 2022 Rassemblement of Franco-American artists, writers, and other cultural workers. We originally planned a virtual gathering for this spring; perhaps you already registered for it. But with COVID case-numbers trending down and Zoom fatigue being felt by many, we have instead planned a unique hybrid format that we hope will provide space for the joy of reconnection wherever you find yourself.
Those comfortable with a small and casual in-person gathering are invited to join us at the Franco Centre in Orono for fellowship and fun. We will gather Friday evening for the keynote presentation by Tyler Leblanc. Saturday, our time together will include discussion of the keynote; a presentation by the filmmakers of Le Carrefour; live music; and a welcomed chance to reconnect after months of isolation. A block of rooms has been reserved at Black Bear Inn in Orono for those who would like to stay Friday and/or Saturday night.
Those of you unable to join us in Orono who would like to organize an in-person satellite Rassemblement where you are, let us know. We’ll help you organize it.
*** If you have registered already, you will need to re-register***
For assistance or further information, please contact Lisa Michaud at firstname.lastname@example.org or 207.581-3789.
You are invited to choose from the following virtual, in-person and hybrid events:
Film Screening (Virtual): April 16–22
The Carrefour (The Intersection)
The University of Maine is delighted to host a virtual screening of this short-format documentary. Set in Lewiston, the film explores the blossoming relationship between descendants of French-Canadian immigrants and more recent arrivals from francophone Africa, and discovers the unexpected ways in which their experiences intersect. You can learn more about the film and see the trailer here. The link will be sent to registrants when available.
Opening Event (Hybrid): Friday, April 22, 7–9 p.m.
Talk, reading and Q&A with Author Tyler Leblanc
Tyler Leblanc will be speaking in-person at the Franco American Centre. The talk and discussion will be simultaneously broadcast over Zoom.
Tyler Leblanc: Acadian Driftwood: One Family and the Great Expulsion
Growing up on the south shore of Nova Scotia, Tyler LeBlanc wasn’t fully aware of his family’s Acadian roots — until a chance encounter with an Acadian historian prompted him to delve into his family history. LeBlanc’s discovery that he could trace his family all the way to the time of the Acadian Expulsion and beyond forms the basis of this compelling account of Le Grand Dérangement.
Register to join Tyler’s event virtually.
Morning Informal Gathering (In-person, Orono): Saturday, April 23, 10–noon
Informal sharing and reconnection
Virtual Presentations and Discussion (Zoom): Saturday, April 23, 10–noon, facilitated by Patrick Lacroix
This will be all online and will resemble the virtual Rassemblement that was held last year. Register in advance for this virtual Saturday morning Rassemblment.
The directors of “Le Carrefour” will join us virtually for a discussion of its making. Those in Orono will gather at the Franco American Centre to join the Zoom-based discussion.
Register in advance for this meeting:
Evening/Closing Event (In-person, Orono): Saturday, April 23, 7–9 p.m.
Bring your instruments for a jam. Gus Lacasse will be joining us with his fiddle.
Sunday Morning Debrief and Coffee Hour (In-person, Orono): Sunday, April 24, 10–noon
Optional informal discussion to wrap-up the weekend, provide feedback, and say good-byes.
Saturday, April 23
For the past two years we have been grateful to include Francos from far-flung places in our virtual gatherings, and we don’t want to lose you this year. Those unable to travel to Orono but comfortable gathering closer to home are encouraged to arrange smaller, satellite gatherings to connect with Francos in your local community. If you are able to serve as a host for such an event, please let us know. We are compiling a list of planned gatherings to help people find each other. The Franco Centre would also be willing to make a Zoom channel available to those who wish to gather virtually. Just let us know.