BERTRAND (GNB) – The Village Historique Acadien commemorated its 40th anniversary today during a ceremony similar to the one held when the historical settlement officially opened in 1977.

“As identified in our Economic Growth Plan, tourism is a major component of the government’s economic vision,” said Caraquet MLA Hédard Albert. “As we celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, the Village Historique Acadien is more than an important part of the province’s history. It also reflects its cultural richness and its beauty, as well as the attachment to our roots.”

Albert attended for Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames.

The provincial government invested $400,000 over the past two years for major upgrades to the reception centre, including a complete renovation of the gift shop, and to repair several historical buildings.

“Over the past 40 years, the work done by our staff, and the support received from the government and the community, allowed the village to become one of New Brunswick’s flagship tourist and cultural attractions,” said the executive director of the Village Historique Acadien, Sylvain Godin. “This historical settlement is a unique place that preserves Acadie’s physical and cultural assets. We thank our visitors and the community who quench their thirst for Acadie, year after year, here at the village. Be assured that we are already at work to make the next 40 years as exciting and vibrant as the 40 years we are celebrating today.”

A number of new activities will be part of the Village Historique Acadien’s 40th season, including cooking workshops with Madame Savoie and the Nuits de la terreur (fright nights), which will take place Oct. 19-20.

The tourism industry employs more than 42,000 people in New Brunswick and contributes more than $520 million annually to the provincial GDP. For every public dollar invested in promoting New Brunswick as a tourism destination, there is an estimated return of $3.19.

The budget for the Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture increased by 17.6 per cent this year. In addition, a capital investment of $75 million will be made over the next three years for upgrades to assets of cultural and historic significance.

The full program of the 40th season of the Village Historique Acadien is available online.

The public is encouraged to visit the Canada 150 NB website, website, use the hashtag #NBProud, and follow @Canada150NB on social media and share why they are proud to be New Brunswickers. Individuals can also follow @Canada150 to learn more about the various activities happening in the province this year.