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French Fest 2019

Save the Date – French Fest 11-13 Oct 2019

Call out to all Tangata Whenua, Whalers, Settlers, Farmers, Soldiers, Sailors, Sealers, European or any other original Akaroa Settler Descendants!

Whether you are a direct descendant or just an enthusiastic participant, read on!

Following on from the massive success of The Landing 2017 our fabulous historical re-enactment on the beach;
Akaroa Community Arts Council once again is working in partnership with Akaroa Heritage Festival Society to
produce The Landing 2019 at Akaroa’s flagship biennial festival – FrenchFest on October 12th.

 We tell the history and stories of local iwi and the many and varied intrepid souls who travelled far and wide to make Banks Peninsula their home.

We’re calling for the direct descendants of the original French, German and Belgium immigrants whose ancestors set sail in the Comte de Paris in 1840, to represent their ancestors either on shore within the performance or in the row boats that come ashore. There are thirteen seats available, Monsieur Steve LeLievre, our AHFSI patron will draw the names of our successful thirteen voyageurs from a feathered tricorn accompanied by champagne and much celebration no doubt!

For the action on the beach we need a crowd of hopeful French émigrants to interact with the volatile Captain
Langlois as he encourages them to join his voyage to Nouvelle Zealande in 1840. Other groups will be sailors or
politicians, all ages for the crowd scenes, the ones at the front who are confident to say lines and perhaps some
others toward the back who can just cheer and jeer accordingly!
Do remember whether you are in a boat or on the beach that you will be in a play, interacting with other
performers to tell the stories of those intrepid souls – you’ll wear a costume and need to remember a few lines,
speak them at the right time and move as directed. Nothing to be nervous about! Folks who joined in 2017 were terrified stepping into the limelight in front of a large audience but had a fantastic experience.

We have wonderful directors and you will receive lots of help. We want to tell more stories in more detail.
Rehearsals are held during the six weeks before FrenchFest in Akaroa on Wednesday or Thursday evenings and
Sunday afternoons. We will be able to schedule you into whichever day suits you best. You don’t have to come to all of them, you do need to be available if possible when required. You’ll need to practise your lines with your fellow players over several days! The jeerers, cheerers and general crowd members can get by with just one full day rehearsal on 11th October. They won’t have any lines.
There are three things that we need you to commit to:

1 – if you want to be in a row boat that you are a direct descendant of a Comte de Paris voyageur.
2 – you are able to attend rehearsals as requested, including a full day 11th October.
3 – you are available to perform on 12th October starting at 8am.

After the re-enactment – we have a parade where all participants are warmly invited to march with the Canterbury
Brass Band under your family banner! Then you have the rest of the Fest to enjoy.

This will be a wonderful and memorable day for all, everyone had such a fun experience in 2017.
Looking forward to your interest!

Lesley and John

Lesley Burkes-Harding
Akaroa Community Arts Council Chair
Akaroa Heritage Festival Society committee member

To register for this exciting event, download a form by clicking –

Print and sign the form, then post or scan it and email back to ACAC

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