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History of Acadians at Mount Allison: Art, Music, Drama, and Literature

A virtual exhibit on the history of Acadians at Mount Allison University and in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Art, Music, Drama, and Literature

The following list contains a select number of art exhibits, music recital, theater productions, and literary events hosted on the Mount Allison University campus between 1940 and 2000 relating to Acadians.



On 17 April 1941, internationally recognized violinist Arthur LeBlanc performed in the Charles Fawcett Memorial Hall as part of his tour of the Maritimes. Arthur LeBlanc was born in 1906 in Saint-Anselme, Westmorland County, New Brunswick. He started playing the violin at the age of 3 and received his early education at the Petit séminaire de Québec in Vieux-Québec, Québec. He joined the Symphonic Orchestra of Montreal in 1939, eventually becoming a professor of music at the University of Laval.  Although he is remembered for his Acadian music, his recital focused primarily on classic violin pieces.[1]



On 3 December 1942, Arthur LeBlanc played another recital in the Charles Fawcett Memorial Hall.[2]



On 16 February 1974, a production of Pierre Mathieu’s play, Evangeline—Qui Donc?, was presented in Windsor Theatre by L’Hexagone, a professional theatre company created in 1972 by the National Arts Centre with the intention to contribute to the diffusion of francophone culture in Canada. According to Jim Enman, the play “succeeded in communicating the . . . spirit of the Acadians and their sense of tradition and the injustices they have endured—in a manner which dissolved the cultural wall with humour compassion, sensitivity and humanity and gave a largely English-oriented audience an insight into our Acadian neighbours character which was truly memorable.”[3]

In February 1974, the Sackville Art Association sponsored an exhibition of Léo B. LeBlanc’s paintings at the Ralph Pickard Bell Library. Léo B. LeBlanc was born 15 September 1914 in Moncton, New Brunswick and grew up in Notre Dame, Kent County, New Brunswick. He had a traditional Acadian upbringing and worked in farming, logging, and poultry before turning to painting later in his life. His art, which was simple in style, captured the essence of the Acadian people through scenes and landscapes. In his short career as a painter, LeBlanc exhibited all around the country. He boasted that he had only received one art lesson—from Alex Colville. The exhibition displayed nineteen selections on the walls of the Ralph Pickard Bell Library between February 10 and 24, 1974. It was the first campus art display held outside the walls of the Owens Art Gallery. [4]



On 17 January 1978, Le Cercle Francais sponsored a “Coffee House” with entertainment provided by Ulysse Landry, a young Acadian singer from Cap-Pelé.[5]

Between 12-28 February 1978, the Mount Allison Owens' Art Gallery hosted l'Art Chez les Francophone Néo-Brunswickois, a touring exhibition from the Province of New Brunswick's Deparment of Youth, Recreation and Cultural Resources.



On 10 October 1979, there was a screening of the Acadian documentary “Au boutte du quai” as part of a three-day Canadian film festival on francophone culture happening on campus.[6]

In December of 1979, the Mount Allison Owens' Art Gallery hosted an exhibition of Marie Hélène Allain's work. Allain is an acadian artist born in Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, Nouveau-Brunswick in 1939. She has been showing her work in Canada, the United States, and France since 1972.



On 14 October 1984, during the Fall Convocation at which Acadian music professor Florine Després was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Music, the Sackville Bicentennial Committee and the Centre for Canadian Studies hosted Les Jeunes Chanteurs d’Acadie in concert. The choir performed classical chants as well as certain Acadian folklore, including “En montant la rivière” and “Partons la mer est belle.” Monique Gould, current professor of Music at Mount Allison University, was part of the choir and performed two solos.

In October 1984, the bilingual theatre troop Tintamarre put on “Charivari: The Sounds of Tantramar,” a play written and directed by Alex Fancy. The play deals with the expulsion of the Acadians from the Tantramar marshes.The play was reprised in 1989 and again in 2008, the year Sackville was designated the Cultural Capital of Canada.[7]



Between 20 February and 12 March 1989, the Owen’s gallery hosted the “Quoi Faire? Quoi Dire?” exhibition at the Owen’s Art Gallery, featuring recent works by four Acadian artists from Moncton: Jacques Arsenault, Paul Bourque, Hermenegilde Chiasson, and Yvon Gallant. The exhibition was organized by the Anna Leonowens Gallery in Halifax.[8]



On 12 February 1998, Acadian author France Daigle gave bilingual public reading of her work at the Owens Art Gallery.[9]

Programme for a violin recital by Arthur LeBlanc, 1942-43

[1] “Arthur LeBlanc Heard in Recital.” The Argosy Weekly, vol. LXVII, no. 22. – 19 April 1941. – p. X

[2] Programme available in Evelyn Jones fonds, 2017.51/2

[3] “Evangeline—Qui Donc?” / Jim Enman. The Argosy Weekly, vol. CII, no. 17. – 17 February 1974. – p. 11

[4] “Exhibit Establishes Firsts.” The Argosy Weekly, vol. CII, no. 17. – 18 February 1974. – p. 2. For more information on Léo B. LeBlanc, visit

[5] “French Songs Highlight Café.” The Argosy Weekly, vol. CVI, no. 12. – 26 Jan 1978. – p. 13

[6] “Mini-festival: films, fun, and french.” The Argosy Weekly, vol. CVIII, no.5. – 4 October 1979. – p. 14

[7] “Tintamarre: Bicentennial Theatre.” / Marian Macpherson. The Argosy Weekly, vol. CXIV, no. 7. – 1 November 1984. – p. 8. For a review of the 1989 reprisal, and responses to the review, see “Tintamarre Chaivari 89! Je me souviens” / Derrick Sleep. The Argosy Weekly, vol. CXIX – 19 October 1989. – p. 11, “Charivari Huge Success.” The Argosy Weekly, vol. CXIX – 26 October 1989. – p. 5, and “RE: Derrick ASLEEP’s review.”The Argosy Weekly, vol. CXIX – 26 October 1989. – p. 5

[8] “On Display at the Owen’s Art Gallery: Quoi Faire? Quoi Dire?” The Argosy Weekly, vol. CXVIII, no. 15. – 9 February 1989. – p. 17

[9] “Noted author France Daigle to give reading.” The Argosy, vol. 127, no. 16. – 12 February 1998. – p. 30 and “France Daigle: 1953 Chronicle of a Birth Foretold and more.” / Andrea Marie Levesque. The Argosy, vol. 127, no. 18. – 12 March 1998. –p. 30