EDITOR'S NOTE: The following is the sixth in a series of nine feature articles prepared for Heritage Week, Feb. 11 - 18, 2008. Entitled 'Spotlight on our Heritage', this series is a reflection upon the people, places and collections of New Brunswick's past. This article was prepared by the East Coast Music Association, a proud partner in Heritage Week 2008. For more information on Heritage Week activities throughout the province, visit the Heritage Week 2008 website.

ECMA 2008 to present Lifetime Achievement Award to Acadian group 1755

The East Coast Music Association (ECMA) is pleased to announce that the Acadian group 1755 will receive the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2008 East Coast Music Awards on Sunday, Feb. 10 as part of the Awards, Festival & Conference in Fredericton. The award recognizes an artist or band that has had a profound and lasting effect on the Atlantic Canadian music industry, and the recipient is chosen each year by the ECMA board of directors.

This Lifetime Achievement Award was renamed after Dr. Helen Creighton when she received the award in 1991. Helen Creighton (1899-1989) was an author and pioneer in the field of folklore, both nationally and internationally. In 1958, she was one of the judges at the first Miramichi Folksong Festival, organized by Louise Manny.

As 2008 recipients of this prestigious award, 1755 joins the ranks of 19 other noted musicians, including New Brunswick-born 'Stompin' Tom Connors (1993), Edith Butler (1997), Don Messer (1998), and Ned Landry (2002).

"The group 1755 was instrumental in popularizing Acadian music here in Atlantic Canada, and they have paved the way for many francophone artists over the last 25 years," said Wade Pinhorn, chair of the ECMA board of directors. "It's hard to imagine a band more deserving of an ECMA Lifetime Achievement Award."

The group 1755 was together from 1977 to 1984, having toured successfully in Canada, the United States and France. After they disbanded in 1984, band members Pierre Robichaud, Roland Gauvin, Ronald Dupuis, Donald Boudreau, and Kenneth Saulnier went on to achieve success in solo careers or with other bands.

The group has been described as 'the Acadian Beatles'. They were the first Atlantic Canadian group to play, sing and record in the Acadian vernacular language known as 'chiac'. Their songs have now become part of Acadian folklore and are highly anticipated as part of most Acadian celebrations. Their contribution to Acadian identity is unrivalled, and their success is a source of pride for Acadians everywhere. Members of the now-famed group have had continued success as solo artists (Pierre Robichaud) or as members of other bands (Roland Gauvin - Les Méchants Maquereaux, Ronald Dupuis - Glamour Puss, and Kenneth Saulnier - Suroît).

This band, full of talented musicians, has been the inspiration for many Acadian artists over the last 30 years. The East Coast Music Association is thrilled to be honouring them with the 2008 Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award. Don't miss the tribute to 1755 at the Music Awards Gala on Sunday, Feb. 10 at the Aitken Centre.