A multifaceted cultural fabric.
The culture of New Brunswick—as felt in our music, foods, language, festivals, built environment, and history—is a fascinating mélange influenced by Indigenous, French, British, Irish and Scottish settlers, that is constantly changing with the influx of people from other parts of the world.
Our cross-cultural story begins at least 11,000 years ago with the ancestors of our Aboriginal communities, the Mi’kmaq, Wolastoqiyik (Maliseet) and Peskotomuhkatiyik (Passamaquoddy), in what would come to be known as New Brunswick. French settlers, led by Samuel de Champlain, explored our land in the early 1600s, and their descendants—Acadians—still call this area home today. The region was ceded to Great Britain in 1710, at which point British pioneers and New England planters started cultivating the fertile lands, followed by Loyalists in the 1780s, then Scottish and Irish settlers in the early 1800s. Danish settlers in the 1870s, Jewish immigrants from the 1890s, and Italian, Greek, Lebanese, Asian, Indian, Pakistani, Syrian and African Canadian communities have been established over the past century in the major cities.
Language is a particularly important part of our culture. New Brunswick has been officially bilingual for more than 50 years. Its first Official Languages Act was enacted in 1969, making the province Canada’s first and only officially bilingual province. Two thirds of New Brunswickers are anglophone, one third are francophone, and 34% of New Brunswickers can speak both official languages.