La Virée Trad Festival is an “immaterial” heritage event that showcases traditional music, and aims to raise awareness among audiences everywhere about all forms of living heritage expression. This is essential to not only maintaining the cultural and social vitality of our community, but also reinforcing an identity and strong sense of belonging, which ultimately bring about sustainable development.


La Virée Trad Festival owes its start in 2001 to the concerted efforts of the area’s cultural, tourism, commercial, economic and municipal organizations. The defunct economic development corporation of Carleton established and carried the Festival for two years. Starting in 2003 and up to now, Maximum 90, a performing arts presenter in Carleton, has become the event’s promoter and manager. Other than the support of the city of Carleton-sur-Mer, four community organizations [Vaste et Vague, Les Productions à tour de rôle, the Clan Destin and the Écomusée Tracadièche] are also involved in organizing the Festival.

The primary objective of helping to extend the tourism season by promoting and highlighting our natural and cultural attractions quickly became a unifying event with a Gaspésie, Acadian and Québécois focus.

With our geographical location and historical background, La Virée Trad Festival is a driving force behind developing links with Acadian culture that is strongly present in the maritime provinces (New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia). Furthermore, the practice of traditional arts is generally livelier in Acadia than in Gaspésie, and that is why we believe these ties are particularly inspiring and natural.

La Virée Trad Festival is embodied by a willingness to make our living heritage known through music and dance, storytelling, local products, traditional occupations and arts and crafts. Traditional music is the spark that ignites all Festival activities, by acting as a common thread through a heritage we want to share.

Festival goers from here or elsewhere, charmed by the spirit of La Virée Trad Festival, enjoy a unique experience enlivened with colours and flavours of good old party evenings of bygone days. Singers, dancers, fiddlers, foot tappers, storytellers, artisans, farm producers will all be on hand to keep alive traditions steeped in the memories of our elders, but also sought by a younger generation intent on a more authentic future. Audiences of all ages and from around Canada take delight in coming to Carleton-sur-Mer during La Virée Trad Festival to experience fall to a new rhythm.