Inducted on October 13, 2017
Great ambassador of Acadie, Richard Laurin, now residing near Grand Pré, Nova Scotia discovered his Acadian roots when he permanently moved to this superb province over 23 years ago.
Having worked for the Department of Canadian Heritage at the Fort Anne and Grand Pré National Historic sites for a few years, Richard realized that thousands of visitors to Atlantic Canada were ‘naturally’ converging year after year to these regions in search of their Acadian heritage. Within New Brunswick, P.E.I. and particularly Nova Scotia, being the cradle of the worldly culture, the trend associated with Acadian History and genealogy was to be expected!
Being aware and somewhat saddened by the fact that there were definitely insufficient guidance offered to the visitors wishing to satisfy their heritage needs, Richard decided to found his own Acadian cultural touring company. He permanently engaged himself at the task; it soon became a passionate venture centered on, on-going research, designing and conducting meticulous tour programs for visitors. The vast Acadian Diaspora had the right to know and deserved to be properly ‘welcomed back home’ as he likes to tell any new clients.
Of course, one would not fully seize the grandeur of Acadie if a very intricate part of the experience was not considered and conducted in the very ‘natural’ environment our forefathers evolved in, over the 17th and 18th century. In all cases, Nature and Culture are always blended together harmoniously so to provide a truly touching experience to all.
Having an acute sense of listening, the visitor’s own quests towards deepening his or her roots are always taken into account in his tours. He claims to learn as much from his clients as what he teaches during the multiple tours he conducts year after year or simply as a consultant.
Richard never stops discovering new elements pertaining to the Acadians, but his energy seems endless when he is given the privilege to share his knowledge and bring it all together, whatever the form. Richard can compose a tour program adapted to anyone and everyone à la carte as he says. He singlehandedly designs and carries on a vast array of tours for individuals and groups of all sizes in Atlantic Canada, Louisiana and France. Twenty-one years later, Novacadie Tours is now recognized as a pioneer in the quest people from all over the world cherish towards our wondrous story of Acadie!
His knowledge is impressive and countless have asked him if he has written some of these facts he masters so well and that folks could purchase. His answer is “Perhaps, someday! But you know, the big picture will never be summarized in any books he says... for, there are as many stories of Acadie as there are Acadians to tell their own! In any cases, I can take them to the places of origins of their forefathers and it is hugely emotional for them all and rewarding for a tour operator. The effect of the Deportation and the ultimate feeling of re-uniting the original family ignite us all into a strange but wonderful sensation!’’ Acadie is where there are Acadians…’’
For well over two decades, Richard has been involved in several associative movements pertaining to Acadie, some of those are namely; The Acadian Federation of Nova Scotia (FANE)- Tourism rep. for the Cultural Council of N.S. (CCANE), the organizing committee for the Acadian World Congress in N.S. in 2004 (ANÉ 2004), Advisory Committee for Tourism Nova Scotia, the Commission du tourisme acadien au Canada Atlantique (CTACA), and several Acadian organizations from the province of Québec and France).
Aiming towards the recognition of French-Acadian rights in our societies and inciting cultural and linguistic pride for young and not-so-young into future generations, he continues to maintain steady efforts towards the development of an international typical Acadian tourism experience.