The official central Aroostook launch for a newly released, full-color photo book, 'Acadian Roots: Images of the St. John Valley' which features pictures from up above and on the ground of the St. John Valley, is set for Thursday, July 17 at 4:00 p.m. in the McCain Conference Room at TAMC’s A.R. Gould Memorial Hospital on Academy Street in Presque Isle.

Wavebreakmedia Ltd

'Acadian Roots' a bilingual, 186-page publication is out in time to help celebrate the upcoming World Acadian Congress / Congrès mondial acadien (CMA) 2014.

Author Dottie Hutchins and photographer Paul Cyr, who collaborated on the project, will be on hand at the July 17th event to talk about how the project came together.

The Presque Isle event will follow a kick-off book launch in the St. John Valley on July 15 at 3:30 p.m. at the Acadian Archives, located on the University of Maine at Fort Kent campus. Both events are open to the public.

'Acadian Roots' provides a virtual tour of the Valley through a collection of Cyr’s aerial and ground photographs of more than 27 towns on both sides of the St. John River. Cyr’s photos are introduced by a short story tracing his Cyr-Sire ancestors from France to Acadie to the Upper St. John Valley.

It follows their epic survival surrounding the 1755 expulsion of Acadians from Nova Scotia, to their settlement at Mada­waska three decades later. The Cyr family provides a moving example of the resilience of the Acadian people.

Hutchins will speak about this story and how it embodies the Acadian experience for many who made their way to the Valley as part of her presentation. The session at TAMC will also feature Cyr showing many of the photos used in the publication.

Lise Pelletier, director of the Acadian Archives acadiennes, University of Maine at Fort Kent, provides French translation of the text and adds cultural flavor by inserting a series of short stories and sayings typical of the Valley.

The public is invited and encouraged to attend the book launch at TAMC. For more information on the event, contact the TAMC communication and development office at 768-4044.