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Press Release

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Press Release
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The 6th Moncton Armenian Festival unveils its program

Commemorating the 20th century’s first genocide, the Armenian Genocide

(Moncton, September 15, 2015)—The 6th Moncton Armenian Festival from October 1 to 4, 2015, in Greater Moncton will be dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the first genocide of the 20th century, the Armenian Genocide. The Festival commemorates this tragic event by paying tribute to the victims and survivors with dance, music, song, visual arts, and film. Artists from Acadie, Quebec, France, the United-States, and of course Armenia will be in Moncton for the Festival. The complete program is available at www.festivalarmenien.com .

New this year, the Festival will be combined with an international and interdisciplinary Conference at the Université de Moncton entitled “Representations of the Armenian Genocide and mass crimes,” October 1-3. Around thirty researchers from Europe, the United States, and Canada will take part in the conference.

“Two major events are organized to commemorate the centennial of the Armenian Genocide in Moncton, to remember, to raise the population’s awareness, to understand, and demand recognition… but also to celebrate the survival of a people and a culture that came close to being annihilated,” says Sylvia Kasparian, Professor at the Université de Moncton and Festival founder. The Armenian Festival has taken place every two years since 2005.

First genocide of the 20th century, the Armenian Genocide was committed by the “Young Turks” towards the end of the Ottoman Empire against the Christian Armenian minority and left a million and a half dead. This crime went unpunished and despite its recognition by almost twenty countries, including Canada, it is still being denied by the Turkish government.

6th Armenian Festival Program
The festivities will begin on Thursday October 1 at 6 p.m. at the Moncton Blue Cross Centre with a dance performance featuring 25 artists followed by a march against genocides, a tree planting ceremony and unveiling of a memorial, and an Armenian requiem song by soprano Aline Kutan. This ceremony will be held in the presence of the Ambassador to Armenia, the mayors of Moncton, Dieppe, and Riverview; and the Université de Moncton President, among others. Everyone is invited to take part in this march and ceremony dedicated to all genocides.

During the same evening, the Festival will inaugurate two major visual arts exhibitions by artists of Armenian descent: Souvenirs d’outre mémoire by Patrick Toucas-Terzian (France) at the Moncton Public Library and War and Peace by Garen Bedrossian (Canada) at the Dieppe Arts and Culture Centre.

The Armenian Film Festival will have its premiere on Friday October 2 at 5 p.m. Radio-Canada’s host Patrick Masbourian from Montreal will be in Moncton to present his documentary Le génocide arménien… 100 ans de solitude on the Université de Moncton campus (room 163, Jacqueline-Bouchard Faculty). A panel discussion will follow the movie presentation. Admission is free for the Film Festival premiere on October 2. Other movies will be shown October 2-4. Tickets will be for sale at the door. The complete Armenian Film Festival program is available on the Festival website.

On the evening of Friday October 2 at 7:30 p.m., take part in an Armenian dinner and show, hosted by Patrick Masbourian, at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel in Moncton. A four-course Armenian meal accompanied by music, dance, and song with artists Marie-Jo Thério, Zulal (an Armenian trio, a capella, from New York), Armenian dancers from Montreal’s Garni Dance Ensemble, and other surprises. Tickets on sale for $50 (taxes included) at the UdeM Librarie acadienne or by phone at (506) 874 7810.

On Saturday October 3 at 7:30 p.m., a concert of liturgical songs will transport you to the depth and mystery of sacred Armenian music at the Moncton Central United Church (150 Queen Street). The concert will feature Grigor Arakelian, Armenian composer, choir conductor, and master of the Kemani (Armenian viola). He will be accompanied by a string quartet, by the soprano Aline Kutan from Montreal, and by the voices of three choirs under the direction of Monique Richard of the Université de Moncton Music Department.

Visual arts and the Armenian Festival
Various visual arts exhibits will be shown during the Festival (and many of them throughout October), namely by renowned Armenian artists: photos, editorial cartoons, and headlines of period newspapers from the Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute in Erevan. Exhibits will be held at the Moncton Public Library, the Dieppe Arts and Culture Centre, and the Université de Moncton Arts Faculty and campus library. More details can be found on the Festival website.

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Madeleine Blanchard
media relation for the 6th Armenian Festival
(506) 871-3638
media@festivalarmenien.com