N.S. Acadian games called off, organizers exploring alternate format

Published on March 1, 2017

Members of the PEB's boys' volleyball team celebrate their victory and their advancement to the Finales des Jeux de l'Acadie. ROBERT D'EON PHOTO

CLARE, N.S. – Nova Scotia’s Jeux de l’Acadie for 2017 will not proceed as planned, but the province’s Acadian athletes may still have a chance to qualify for the Finale des Jeux de l’Acadie to be held in New Brunswick.

The Nova Scotia games were to have taken place in Clare on the Victoria Day weekend, but their fate was uncertain due to the labour dispute between the provincial government and the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.

Clare now will get to host the games in 2018 instead. It was expected that the Clare games would have drawn about 1,000 people to the area, including athletes, coaches and volunteers, etc.

A media release from the Comité provincial des Jeux de l’Acadie (provincial Acadian Games committee) for Nova Scotia said a number of factors – notably a lack of volunteers and time – were behind the decision to call off this year’s games and look to have an alternate format for athletes and teams from Nova Scotia to earn a berth in the Finale.

Students demonstrated their Acadian pride during the opening ceremonies of Les Finale des Jeux de l'Acadie when they were held in Yarmouth County years ago.
Tina Comeau

This year’s Finale des Jeux de l’Acadie will be held in Fredericton June 28-July 2.

The plan is to try to spread the qualifying tournaments for the various sports among Nova Scotia’s Acadian regions and have them take place May 18-20, according to the media release issued March 1.

An exception to this revised format is the track and field portion of the Nova Scotia games, which already was slated for Beazley Field in Dartmouth the second weekend in May and will proceed as such.

Nova Scotia’s Jeux de l’Acadie were left in limbo this winter because of the labour dispute between the province and its teachers, in particular the teachers’ work to rule. Organizers noted that teachers play a major role in the Acadian games as coaches and volunteers.

Organizers had said they would wait until the end of February before making a decision. By this time, the province had imposed a contract on the teachers, but Jeux de l’Acadie organizers decided their best of course of action – given the situation with volunteers and time constraints – was to call the games off.