October 11, 2011

Acadians don't celebrate Thanksgiving.

Acadians don't celebrate Thanksgiving. The reason is overlooked by most. Although I could write a thesis on this, here's the need-to-know: In the USA, Thanksgiving is an native celebration of the harvest but it is not so in Canada. In the Dominion of Canada, Thanksgiving is a commemoration of the end of the Seven Years War, essentially a loyalist celebration which marked the end of the expulsion. A dark moment for Nova Scotia history, in particular.


Thanksgiving, in Canada, IS NOT a celebration of the Harvest. In fact, it has never been. Our closeness to our american neighbors is hugely responsible for why most canadians are under the FALSE IMPRESSION that "our" Thanksgiving has anything to do with giving thanks for the harvest.


Feel like thanking the Loyalists for the Bounty on our scalps ? A bounty, I might add, that to this day, has NEVER been rescinded....


Go ahead and eat your damn turkey - but don't go crying to the feds when your culture is assimilated beyond recovery.

1991 to 2011 - 20 Years of Broadcasting for Dan Robichaud

Autobiographical account of my life in radio.


I was first recruited in 1989 as the youth member of radio CIFA 104.1FM. Youth was an understatement. My first live broadcast was in September of 1991, at a booth set up for a local trade show. There, in front of a crowd, I interviewed one of my early childhood educators. In September of 2011, I will have had hosted or produced a regular radio program for twenty consecutive years.


I continued as a regular programmer at CIFA, involved in numerous programming aspects, for nearly a decade. Sadly this was before the MP3, and most of the live shows were only archived on tape for 90 days.


I entered radio at a time just before digital editing. This has given me the rare experience to have worked extensively with various formats of tapes, reels, minidisk, cartridge carousels, and vinyl. My first experience with news feeds was the 1991 version of NTR, a monochrome text based news service.


In the fall of 1999, Danielle Marchand, CBAF reporter, introduced to me to Louise d'Entremont, then CBAF's Delegated Producer.  It must have been a good impression.  Soon enough, Louise was calling on me to collaborate on CBAF's French programming.


The following summer, I joined Louise's team at CBAF as Associate Producer of CBAF Bonjour, a temporary term to accommodate a health-related leave.


Some of the memorable projects during this time include coordinating ship-to-shore interviews with the Tall Ships, a contest that saw twelve lucky winners receive a day-long outing and international buffet aboard the HMCS Athabaskan - (also the first time I met  Robert Yves Mazerolle), and the "Valentine's Day" program which was live throughout Atlantic Canada featuring Robert Chan (Remember Bravo Fine Foods?), interviewed on why Chocolate is synonymous with Love, followed by a tense interview with Louise Soucy questioning Robert Rabinovich. Yes, I have met Rabinovich, and live-produced the on-air interview.


I continued as a casual replacement on the CBAF team for a number of years following.



Between 2001 and 2004, I was Delegated Producer of a made-for-radio variety competition called "Le Gala De la Chanson de la Nouvelle-Ecosse". The show was produced in collaboration with the Galaxie Rising Stars Awards and Radio-Canada Moncton. Typically, the winners go on to compete in other similar festivals, ultimately, to the Granby International Song Festival. Vincent Vallieres au Gala 2003  My duties included everything from securing the funding to the live production during the show, to authorizing structural weight loads and negotiating with the multiple unions involved.  This was the first succesful  revival of the show since Ron Bourgeois was Delegated Producer in the 1980s. Think Idol on a shoestring budget and you get the idea.  My most memorable moment in producing Le Gala, was 2003, the year Juan hit us on day one of a five day production run.  With the entire crew stuck in a dark hotel, rehearsal had to go on... even if it meant on the roof.  Power was restored with less than 24 hours to the live-to-tape. We recorded the show in front of a sold out house, and a very tired Tourtech crew.


In 2004, I was commissioned by La Federation Acadienne de la Nouvelle-Ecosse to produce a two-week special series for Congres Mondial Acadien. This involve simultaneously broadcasting from four locations: CIFA, CKRH, CKJM and Radio Ile Madame. We accomplished this by streaming over IP, rather than installing T1 broadcast loops in each location. We worked directly with the ISPs to ensure the best bandwidths.   My duties included coordinating the programmers from all the stations, live producing each show daily, and ensuring continuity with the rebroadcasts. Seems simple until the power goes out in one community critical in the IP chain!


It is around this time that Larry Steele, long time host of CKDU's french anchor program, Trois Beaux Canards, approached me to replace him for a one-year sabbatical. Larry and I have continued to co-host the program and do so to this day.


We currently maintain a small website at

Remembering Juan

 During Juan, I was working as producer of "Le Gala de la Chanson" (pense petite-vallee ou granby...).   We had five days to rehearse and 3 days with the crew. On day one - Juan changed paths and came right for us. 


Most of the crew arrived on the weekend and took residence in a hotel we had booked for the duration of the run.


What happened during the night was veritably a nightmare. Some of the crew were on in a rooftop penthouse, and even took refuge in the bathrooms and between the bed and the walls. I arrived the next morning, through a maze of fallen trees obscuring my drive, to find the hotel badly damaged. The awning had collapsed and damaged the front doors. I was escorted in through a staff entrance. The restaurant was in no shape to serve breakfast - No lights, No water... well, except the water coming through the ceiling. There sat Annette Campagne, with a bowl of dry cereal and a wet newspaper. I'll never forget the look on her face. I thought she was going to cry, but somehow we burst into ridiculous laughter. Slowly, the extent of the damage became clear and everyone joined the disbelief.    We wouldn't have power again for three days.



The taping of the show was on the Friday evening... and on the Tuesday, we were in a pitch dark hotel, 8 floor, no elevator.  Only candles - and a hotel manager bringing us sandwiches and water. I had a crew to feed, so I managed to find a propane fired pizza truck and convinced the old lady to cater for us.  We ate platters of fried everything that week... ad nauseum, et ad viteam eternam! Did I mention those candles came from the church across the street?  Hey.. you gotta do what you gotta do!


Annette and Mario's shock seeing photos of the surrounding destruction.Damage was everywhere - truly the city looked like a state of war. I went up to the crew and showed them photos I had taken around the neighborhood. Some had tears. Vincent Vallieres kept saying "incroyable. c'est l'etat d'guerre. j'ai jamais vu ca." 


The band rehearsed in an underground parking lot using a small gas generator - complete with the ambiance of a collection of disused Hearses.  


It was late Wednesday night (and now a day late for setting up) before the power came back on.  I remember it clearly. We had been holding our production meetings on the roof of this hotel - and we were all standing there, around 9pm, when we watched each suburb light up - one at a time - as if a child tuning on the switches. (Jeanne, tu nous manquent... ). I remember being on the phone with Leo Theriault, the producer for Radio-Canada, doing everything I could to push back the final cutoff hour. "Ouais mais Daniel ca nous prend une decision!"


What Leo never knew, is that I told them to leave Moncton hours before I had even confirmed the alternative venue.  At some point, I remember him calling me as I was standing in seaweed - inside Alderney Landing, and again, completely lying that the place was ready to go - as I stood there holding a hair dryer to an electrical box - hoping that we could get things dry enough to turn the power on before Radio-Canada arrived.


By now, I had 35 000$ worth of Tourtech sitting in the parking lot, Leo and his crew on the way from Moncton - arriving anytime... and still salt water in the electrical panel.   Frank DiCosta and Bob Daley you're amazing technical gurus. 'Nough said.


I remember Jocelyne Comeau called me in the middle of the Wednesday afternoon.  She just called to say that she'd heard I was doing a good job keeping the show together. And I cried.  And she understood. It had been a struggle. Halifax was a war zone and we were in the middle of it.


The show was recorded to a sold out house, a symbolic coming together after the storm. It went flawlessly, but for the fire alarm going off during the credits. After a week of hell, it was the last of anyone's worries.


Stage photographer Sue Mills captured the week's events.  Here is our story in photos.




February 02, 2010

Le plus vaillant discours d'Anselme Chiasson

Anselme Chiasson (Chéticamp, Nouvelle-Écosse 3 janvier 1911 - Montréal, 25 avril 2004) est un prêtre catholique, ethnographe et folkloriste acadien. Il fut un ardent défenseur de l'Acadie et son nom est associé à la fondation non seulement de l'Université de Moncton, mais surtout du Centre d'études acadiennes qui, sous son impulsion, est devenu une référence incontournable sur l'histoire, la culture et la généalogie acadiennes.
Category: Education Tags: Anselme Chiasson (Chéticamp sous son impulsion

eating lobster in a typical acadian family

Trois Beaux Canards Radio - entre deux micros (behind the scenes)

November 11, 2009

Cooking Pheasant in the traditional Acadian method

Rapure - A traditional Acadian method of cooking with game meat.

 Rapure, sometimes referred to in English as "Rappie Pie" is a traditional Acadian dish made from potatoes from which the starch have been removed, reconstituted with meat broth, then baked in the oven until golden brown. In this photo is the finished pheasant rapure, served with pickled root beet and solomon gundy (pickled herring).


 There is no "one" recipe for Rapure.  Subtle cultural differences between Acadian Regions have lead to many variables.  Some regions prefer a soupier rapure while others prefer a dryer, firmer potatoe pie. Some regions vary the coarseness of the grate, ranging from the finely pureed potato stock used in this recipe, to loosly grated potatoe. 

  One this is constant: the potato is grated or pureed, starches removed, and reconstituted with boiling meat broth. 

  For this recipe, I am using a small pheasant, and the potato pulp is a commercially available product made specially for rapure and potato dumplings. It is found in the frozen food section of MOST Nova Scotia grocers. 

  Preparation time:  FIVE HOURS. 


 First, you need a bird, in this case, pheasant. Also, butter, salt, pepper, fresh basil, fresh parsley, small greens, potato (cubed), garlic and onion, diced.


 Brown all of these ingredients in a large soup pot.


 Once the ingredients are seared enough to favour a stock, add six cups of water and boil the hell out of it.


 When the meat is cooked, remove it from the broth and cool it.


 Allow your potato pulp to thaw at room temperature. never attempt to thaw this stuff in the microwave. It looks rather unassuming, and so do the salted onion greens.


 Carefully debone the pheasant, saving all possible edible meat. Rapure is intended to be a very frugal dish, making the most of its ingredients with very little waste.

  Salted onion greens are traditional in Nova Scotia, but some variations of the dish in New Brunswick and the Magdeleine Islands use salted marsh grasses.  Parsley is more commonly used in Nova Scotia, but in New Brunswick, you will likely see summer savory, particularily in the areas where the plant grows wild. 

All of the Rapure's peices ready to come together: potato, pheasant, salted onion greens, onions and parsly. 

Gather the potato, onion greens, chopped onion and parsley in a large bowl. Mix it all up together with your hands, making sure there are no large frozen potato clumps. A wooden spoon is the essential mixing tool. 

Bring broth to a roaring boil.  Add water if you need, because for this next part we need seven to eight cups of broth.   

Add the boiling broth to the potato mixture two cups at a time.  Mix together with the wooden spoon until consistant.  Repeat for each two cups of broth. 



Continue adding two cups at a time, mixing thouroughly each time.  Through the wooden spoon the mixture will at first seem to harden, then become runnier as more is added. This is where most people stop adding broth, and that is the most common mistake for a failed Rapure.  Continue adding two cups at a time until the mixture begins to set. This happens because the potato has began to cook from the heat of the broth. At this point, when your mixture is ready, your arm will be sore.  If it isn't, you have not mixed it enough.    Because the potato has become more solid, the wooden spoon will have no problem standing up by itself. 


 Butter a large baking dish liberally. Fill halfway with the potato mixture. Add the pheasant meat. Do not mix.


 Finish with another layer of potato, completely coverng the meat.

 Bake in a 385C degree oven for at least three hours, or until the dish is covered by a deep brown crust.


Serve with molasses, butter, salt and pepper. 

August 06, 2009

National Community Radio Awards

 English Follows French

  L’émission de radio francophone d’Halifax, Trois Beaux Canards, animée par Leighton Steele et Daniel Robichaud, a reçu le prix de la meilleure diffusion spécialisée en 2007 pour sa couverture du décès du travesti Lulu LaRude, comédien populaire d'Halifax (écoutez, MP3).

 Cette année, TROIS BEAUX CANARDS reçoit une mention honorable aux 2009 Community Radio Awards dans la catégorie de PROGRAMMING EXCELLENCE - DOCUMENTARY de l'Association Nationale des Radios Étudiantes et Communautaires pour le montage 'A Tale of Acadie, entrevues avec les conteurs Poitevins' (2008 CKDU, CHMA) 12min


 Écoutez l'Extrait!  Listen to the clip (MP3)

 Hosted by Leighton Steele and Daniel Robichaud, the “Trois Beaux Canards” show features Francophone music and culture on CKDU 88.1 radio station from Dalhousie University. The program received CKDU's Best Specialty Broadcast Award in 2007 for it's documentary on the life of the late Lulu Larude, a fixture of Halifax nightlife (listen, MP3).

 This year the show has received honorable mention at the National Campus and Community Radio Association's (NCRA) National Community Radio Awards in the category of Programming Excellence - Documentary, for it's broadcast entitled "Tale of Acadie: interviews with Poitvin storytellers"


Program Website // Site officiel


March 24, 2009

February 15, 2009

Google EaRTH - Eglise Saint Bernard Church

November 30, 2008

Photos du Voyage des racconteuses d'Acadie vers le Poitou, France 2007

November 29, 2008

Expedia French

November 28, 2008

L'arrivée des Robichauds

L'arrivée des Robichaud en Acadie et L'historique de l'entreprise familale U.J. Robichaud et Fils Ltée

Selected Excerpt -

Deuxième partie
Chapitre 1- Jean-Pierre, le fondateur du moulin

Longeant les côtes pittoresques de la Baie Sainte-Marie, en Nouvelle-Écosse, se trouvent le village de Meteghan et celui du Centre-de-Meteghan. C’est dans ces villages qu’ont oeuvré les fameux Robichaud, ancêtres de tous les Robichaud de Clare.

Si l’année 1867 a été marquée par la création de notre pays, le Canada, cette même année a aussi vu la naissance d’une entreprise qui porte aU.J.ourd’hui le nom de U. J. Robichaud et Fils Ltée. Cette industrie de bois, de moulin et de charpente fut fondée par ce grand renommé, Jean-Pierre Robichaud. Celui-ci, né à Meteghan le 26 juin 1831, fils de François Robichaud et de Monique Melanson, ne faisait que continuer le travail que ses ancêtres avaient fait en tant que fondateurs du village de Meteghan en 1785.

En 1867, Jean-Pierre (John P. Robicheau) avait déjà établi sa ferme et son moulin à scier du côté du bois au Centre-de-Meteghan. Le Lowell’s Canadian Dominion Directory de 1871 le place tout de même, avec biens d’autres, comme un fermier.[1] Au Régistre de Ventes à Weymouth, j’ai trouvé les copies qui nous indiquent que Jean-Pierre avait acheté sa terre et sa maison en 1855 d’un monsieur Gabriel Melanson. Comme vous pouvez le constater sur la carte ci-incluse, les terres appartenant à Jean-Pierre s’enlignaient avec celles de Rosalie Muff, soeur de Gabriel Melanson.

100 Petites Histoires D'Acadie

100 Petites Histoires du Passé, pour conserver notre langue et notre culture acadienne, volume 3 Selected Excerpt - Ch. 7 - Le feu de 1820 Zabeth : J’chai pas si c’est vrai mais i’ disont que pour des noces, si tu veux point qu’i’ mouille le jour des noces bin la veille, tu pendrilles ton chap’let su’ la ligne à hardes. Pour le gros feu de 1820, j’cartchule qu’il’ ariont mis leu’ chap’let en tcheuques parts autres pour d’mander d’la p’uie. 1820, çâ c’est moêllement louonne dans l’passé. On croirait pouonne que parsounne sa’rait rien qu’i’ s’a passé dans c’t’ânnée-là mais c’est point vrai. Le monde en parle encore, cent trente ans après. Cazimir : Veux-tu dire le grand feu qu’avait quasiment toute brûlé Clare ? Zabeth : Ouai, c’est huste çâ. Le grand feu qu’avait toute brûlé, du P’tit-Russeau aux Grosses-Coques. L’histoire nous a ‘té conté de bouche en bouche jusqu’à nous autres. Cazimir : Le Pére Dagnaud et le Pére Sigogne aviont laissé d’l’informâtion itou dans des articles qu’il’ avont écrits su’ les Acadiens. Zabeth : Bin sûr, en 1820, y avait point temps d’habitâtions qu’asteur. C’est supposé que dix-huit familles pardirent toute. Leu’ maison, leu’ grange, leu’ jardin, toute passit au feu. Toute était brûlé rac à tarre. Dix-huit maisons et vingt-trois granges. Tcheu désastre. Y a rinque trois maisons qu’échapirent au feu : c’teule-là à Frédéric Belliveau, c’teule-là à Anselme LeBlanc et ain autre dans l’ch’monne à Patrice Thibodeau. Cazimir : I’ paraît que c’te hournée-là, le 12 de septembre 1820, i’ ventait ain vent à décorner les boeu’. Au coummencement, i’ pensiont pas qu’y avait du danger mais là, le vent changit d’bord pis ça brûlait enragé. C’était coumme ain ouragan. Le monde courait par la côte pour se sauver. Zabeth : Y a ain Noir, ain infirme, qui voulait pas quitter sa cabane. Lui, i’ restait au ras l’église. Là, i’ dit yoùsqu’i’ voulait être mis. Ça fait qu’i’ l’changirent d’endroit, croyant qu’i’ s’rait hors de danger. Mais malheureusement, i’ parit dans l’feu. Cazimir : S’lon l’Pére Sigogne, y a ain p’tit enfant qui pardit la vie dans son berceau itou. Çâ, c’était vraiment triste. Zabeth : Frédéric Belliveau, lui, le monde l’app’lait Tikine. Bin lui, sa maison fut sauvée pis i’ disont qu’c’était ain mirâcle. Il’ aviont d’la foi, c’te monde-là. Cazimir : Les flammes touchirent point à sa maison. Mais en partant, avec sa plusse jeune enfant dans les bras, il avait fait une croix su’ sa maison en disant : « À Dieu la maison, au feu le reste. » Zabeth : C’était ain beau geste à farre pis il avait ‘té récompensé. Cazimir : C’est drôle qu’y avait pas eu d’mirâcle pour sauver l’église et l’prebytare. Les deux bâtisses furent englouties dans les flammes coumme le restant. Zabeth : C’t’église-là, ça faisait pas longtemps qu’alle avait ‘té bâtie, en 1806, j’crois. Les gens d’la Pointe aviont eu leu’ premiére messe dedans en 1808. Ça fait qu’alle était encore toute neuve, c’t’église-là. Cazimir : Pauvre Pére Sigogne, il a’rait dû d’être découragé. Menoumme, il avait tout pardu, ciboires, patènes, câlisses, toute. Pis à part de çâ, il avait manqué parir lui-même. Pour ain bout d’temps, i’ pouvait pas s’sarvir de sa main drouette. J’crois bin qu’il asséyait de sauver çâ qu’i’ pouvait pis i’ pensait pas trop à lui-même.

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