Terre pis Ciel

Franco Festival of
Jay, Livermore and Livermore Falls

Next Festival - Summer 2006

C'est dommage:
Beloved Franco fest to take one-year hiatus
Adele St. Pierre is taking time off to pursue her doctorate

By Samantha C. DePoy

JAY - Fans of the annual Jay Franco-American festival, Terre pis Ciel, will have to say adieu to the event, at least for a year.

Festival organizer and former Jay resident Adele St. Pierre announced last week that the beloved festival she started in her parent's backyard in August of 2003 will take a one-year hiatus after two successful runs.

St. Pierre said the festival will take a break for the summer of 2005 because she must be in Canada to finish up her doctoral course work. This summer, she will be taking her written exams, which contest of a 30-day period in which she has to answer four questions created by her thesis committee in a 15-page paper, she explained by e-mail.

After the written exams are complete, St. Pierre must also take oral exams. All of the work must be done because the material is at the university, as are the professors. Her adviser for the thesis will be taking a sabbatical next fall, and so she needs to wrap up her course work prior to the professor's leave.

"For the past two festivals, the summer months were important for fundraising and advertising," she wrote. "This would be too hard to do from Quebec and during the month that I am preparing my exams, I just wouldn't have the time to spare."

St. Pierre said she'd rather take a break than pull the festival off half-heartedly.
Though she had anticipated this problem and worked to create a fundraising internship position through the University of Maine at Farmington, a candidate for the position never was presented.

But St. Pierre is quick to assure the community that Terre pis Ciel - a one-day event which offers Franco-American music, food, culture, games and fun - will be back in the summer of 2006.

In the future, she is considering making the festival an every other year event so as to allow ample time to recuperate and to alleviate some of the pressure on local businesses who give money to support the event.

She also hopes that the community will become more involved.

"Ideally, this is a community event," she wrote. "Perhaps it is difficult for people to see this because it is held on a family farm. Terre pis Ciel is by no means a St. Pierre family reunion to which the community is invited."

It would be ideal to have a local committee that would help with the organization of the festival, and fundraising in particularly.

"Of course I am upset that it won't happen. I think the festival is one of the best ideas I have ever cooked and I am upset that I can't follow through with it this year," she wrote. "However, I also understand the importance of following through with my degree. I think it would be impossible for me to focus on my studies knowing what I know about the energy and time it takes to put the festival on."

Her commitment to the event will remain because St. Pierre believes the event has had an impact on the Franco-American community both locally, and afar. "It has brought awareness to the community about the Franco culture that exists and has opened doors between Jay/Livermore Falls and Quebec," she wrote. "It brings people together in a safe, healthy environment and encouraged local pride. It is important for small towns to work together on projects and to celebrate together. It builds a stronger community!"

The mission of Terre pis Ciel is to celebrate the rich heritage of the Franco-American communities of the Jay/Livermore/Livermore Falls area, to encourage a renewed interest in the use of the French language, promote cultural ties between Quebec and Maine, and invite all people to participate in the creation and enjoyment of a day of traditional music, food, games and wares.


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Last updated: April 26, 2005