BOUCTOUCHE (GNB) – The provincial and federal governments will invest a combined $721,500 to help Le Pays de la Sagouine complete infrastructure upgrades.

“This is a great investment for an important piece of the Acadian culture in the Kent South area,” said Kent South MLA Benoît Bourque. “Thousands of tourists get the opportunity to ‎visit Le Pays de la Saguoine every year and get to live an Acadian cultural experience.”

Bourque attended for Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Donald Arseneault, who is also the minister responsible for the Regional Development Corporation.

The provincial government is investing $50,000. The federal government is contributing $329,125 under the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s (ACOA) Innovative Communities Fund, while Heritage Canada is giving $342,500. Le Pays de la Sagouine is providing $61,875 toward the work, which includes improving the foundation of the welcome area, the purchase of technical equipment, and expanding the spectator stands.

“Le Pays de la Sagouine is an important cultural and tourism asset for the province and a key platform for New Brunswick's cultural scene,” said Fisheries, Oceans and Canadian Coast Guard Minister Dominic LeBlanc. “Over the years, it has attracted visitors from around the world who want to discover the authentic lifestyle of La Sagouine, a powerful character created by one of New Brunswick's most acclaimed authors, Antonine Maillet. This project will improve the visitor experience at this popular tourism attraction as it celebrates its 25th anniversary and moves forward with plans to host various cultural events in the coming years.”

LeBlanc spoke on behalf of federal Innovation, Science and Economic Development Minister Navdeep Bains, who is also the minister responsible for ACOA.

“After 25 years of existence, Le Pays de la Sagouine, a fertile ground for local artistic talent, was in urgent need of renovations to its infrastructure and technical equipment,” said Luc LeBlanc, the organization’s artistic director and acting director general. “Today, with the help of the federal and provincial governments, Le Pays de la Sagouine will be able to remain a solid platform for Acadian culture. The addition of a cultural space connected to the Viola Léger Theatre, a reception area and cutting-edge technical equipment will significantly help the site to maintain its excellence, and we are grateful.”