La Baie en Joie

Joie de Vivre — Acadian Style!

Did you know that you can begin dancing in the community of Clare in southwest Nova Scotia and before you know it you might be dancing your way across Canada and around the world? Well, no, it's not possible for everyone, but if you're a member of the dance troupe La Baie en Joie, that kind of travel is a definite possibility. For nearly forty years, the engaging Acadian troupe has been delighting countless audiences with traditional folk dancing that celebrates their distinctive corner of Acadie.

The troupe began as a spur-of-the-moment thought in 1979, when Anne-Marie Comeau, Anne Bonin and others were asked to put together some young step dancers from the Acadian shore along La Baie Sainte-Marie (Saint Mary's Bay) to accompany the local band "Les Tymeux de la Baie" for a performance at a festival in Caraquet, New Brunswick. The dancers were a huge hit — and Anne-Marie, Anne and others realized right away that the young people of their community could be something special for longer than a one-time appearance. La Baie en Joie was born, with Anne-Marie Comeau staying on as the director of the troupe and a choreographer.

Dancers must be at least 11 years old, and they graduate from the troupe at the latest when they leave high school. Most are girls, but some boys join as well. Since the 1980s through to today, La Baie en Joie has performed for a president of France, Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John Paul II, several G7 summits, at the Vancouver Olympics and hundreds of other venues across Canada and internationally.

The name of the group really says it all — La Baie en Joie is a troupe that in each and every colourful performance its young dancers show their pride in being Acadian and their joy in being alive.