VE Alliance completes economic assessment for World Acadian Congress

From mid 2013 to mid 2014, the ViTAL Economy (VE) Alliance worked closely with the Congrès mondiale acadian (World Acadian Congress or CMA) to conduct the first economic assessment of a cross-border region that includes northern Maine, northwest New Brunswick and southeast Québec.

VE presented its findings to over 150 attendees at CMA 2014, a two-week long event that recognized and celebrated Acadian people from around the world. The VE assessment included the following components:

  • Initial Economic Profile and Regional CED Readiness
  • Assets & Opportunities; Niche Markets
  • Asset Mapping Framework
  • Proposed Vision and Goals
  • Core Leadership Team Kickoff & Training Outline
  • Economic Summit Design Ideas
  • Collaborative Fund Raising Plan

Stan Halle, project leader of the VE team, commented, “We are pleased to have helped launch what we hope will be a long-lasting and successful economic development effort. Our research revealed great potential for a more vibrant economy, thanks to the region’s impressive indigenous resources and geographic location.”

Historically, this cross-border region was one large territory, called Le Grand Madawaska; however an international border created in 1842, created divisions and cross-border barriers between the two countries that became even more pronounced after Sept 11, 2001. Fortunately, the desire to build greater prosperity based on what the three areas share in common became the clarion call, answered enthusiastically by the CMA’s economic planning committee in partnership with VE.

VE’s assessment involved conducting over 60 one-on-one interviews, several focus group meetings and two major international conferences. The team identified key assets, challenges, threats and opportunities, population and industry growth potential, and collaborative fundraising possibilities. The international VE team included bilingual professionals with expertise in market analysis, economic and cultural development, tourism, communications and in-depth local knowledge.

VE recommended that next steps include the strategic development of:

  • Energy and natural resources
  • Eco-and cultural tourism
  • Creative niche services and products
  • Workforce development and training
  • Proactive networking; leadership development and youth engagement
  • Knowledge-based enterprises, R&D, export and trade

To continue these efforts, VE helped establish a cross-border Core Leadership Team. For more information, visit and