Not only in la Belle Province, but also from sea to sea, Canadians will be celebrating our French and Acadian cultural heritage at countless festivals and events this summer. Here, I’ve named just a few. In our comments section, please share any others you know about! Franco-Fête de Toronto, July 10-24 Spanning over two weeks, this summer festival is one of the biggest francophone festivals in Canada, to take place in its biggest city at Yonge-Dundas Square. This year, Franco- Fête de Toronto is helping to ignite the Pan American Games, featuring a jam-packed musical line-up of some of Canada’s … Read more »

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Last May, two of France’s most prominent dictionaries, Le Petit Robert and Le Petit Larousse, leaked a sampling of the 150 new words included in their 2016 editions. And amongst those words are more than a few Anglicisms, added to the dictionaries because (in Europe at least) they meet the criteria of widespread and popular use, anticipated to endure. What’s immediately obvious is that many of these new terms have to do with digital technology. And it shouldn’t really come as a surprise; just as Greek and Latin permeate the natural and physical sciences, the apologist argues, English has become … Read more »

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Not only do many Anglophones support greater access to French educational programming for French speakers across Canada; they are also interested in greater access for themselves. According to a recent press release, a vast majority, 88 per cent of Canadians living in provinces with little access to French television programing, say they strongly support offering more shows to French speakers and Francophiles.  The survey, by Ipsos Marketing for Groupe Média TFO, also reports that 56 per cent said they would be interested in watching a French educational television channel, if it was offered by their service provider. The press release … Read more »

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In the Yukon, little more than 4% of the population speaks French as a mother tongue. But as the Franco-Yukonnais get ready to celebrate the vitality of their community with the “Journée de la francophonie yukonnaise” (Yukon Francophonie Day) on May 15, they show that even the smallest of Canada’s French language communities are thriving. Although a minority today, in the days of the Klondike Gold Rush, the French outnumbered the English in the Yukon, having established their presence even earlier when the first voyageurs began to nourish professional, family and social connections with the Yukon’s First Nations. Not only … Read more »

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    Under the theme La Joie de vivre : It Brings Us Together!, les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF) brought together, from March 6 to 22, 2015, thousands of Francophones, Acadians and Francophiles across the country. Indeed, the 17th annual RVF has logged a record number of 2370 activities and events, including 243 screenings from the National Film Board of Canada in 78 Canadian cities. “We are proud to have succeeded in generating even more enthusiasm and participation this year; the number of activities is increasing, the rate of visits to the website and participation in our various contests have … Read more »

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Have you ever tried sending a text message in French, using an English-configured phone? Have you ever wanted to dine on traditional French food… in Winnipeg? Ever had a situation that just roule carré? This is the fare of the prolific, insightful, always entertaining Cassia Abbot-LaDuke, a resident of Peterborough, Ontario. From Carnival to Québec’s popular and traditional music scenes to French toast, Abbot-LaDuke’s series of two-minute audio snippets illuminate Francophone culture in Canada from the lens of a resident of a region where roughly 99% of the population is Anglophone. Speaking to us mostly in English, Abbot-LaDuke switches seamlessly … Read more »

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I confess to collecting words and phrases and snippets of poetry like some people collect stamps or art or gemstones. It’s impossible to estimate the value of a word, really, but so many mean more than their definition. Today, in the spirit of celebrating the Rendez-vous, I share with you some of my favourites from the French language. 1. Gateau (cake): This is the first French word that my 18-month-old ever uttered—this week, in fact, while we were reading a book from our library’s wonderful French book collection. I can’t speak for my toddler, but I, personally, love this word … Read more »

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The annual celebration of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie has finally begun!   Continuing until March 22, Canadians from sea to sea are being brought together to celebrate our country’s French heritage and culture, and to recognize the contributions of Francophone and Acadian communities in a shared joie de vivre. This year’s calendar includes over 1800 events in small towns and big cities across the country, and English-speakers, Allophones and francophiles are all invited to join the festivities of the Francophonie. In Saskatchewan, for example, there will be winter carnivals, flag raisings, music shows, student debates and performances, film festivals and … Read more »

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In the French media at least, Alberta has recently come under fire; this month, its highest court ruled that laws in the province need not be written in French. The ruling is no less than a shock partly because of Alberta’s rich Francophone heritage.   For one, French was the first European language that was spoken in the province. A significant portion of the province’s population (at least 12%) is descended from French settlers, dating back to the fur trade, and beginning with the voyageurs whose marriages to Cree aboriginals resulted in the region’s first Francophone, Métis communities. Throughout the 19th … Read more »

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Although Netflix is altogether lacking when it comes to French Canadian cinema, it does feature a strong collection of European French films to stream. Some of my own favourites—which seem fitting to share with St Valentine’s love still in the air—occupy the romantic comedy genre. A refreshing departure from American stock plots, the French rom-coms explore the tensions between alienation, fears of intimacy and the longing for love. Always light-hearted, never are the films weighed down by such tensions. Surrender to a joie de vivre, they tell their audiences; don’t let the moment pass—take the leap and fall in love.   … Read more »

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The Hon. Shelly Glover

The Hon. Shelly Glover

Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages

All across the country, millions of Francophones and Francophiles are contributing in many ways to our society. On the road to the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017, Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie offers an opportunity to highlight these contributions to Canada.

This year, the Rendez-vous invites us to come together under the theme La Joie de vivre, ça nous rassemble. Whether we grew up with French or discovered the language later in life, we all share a Francophone heritage that is a source of both pleasure and pride.

On behalf of Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada, I encourage Canadians to take part in the 17th Rendez-vous de la Francophonie. I would like to thank the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue for ensuring its success.

Andrée Lortie

Andrée Lortie

President of the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue

The period surrounding Journée international de la Francophonie on March 20, 2015 is an opportunity for more than 270 million Francophones on 5 continents to celebrate their various cultures.

In Canada, Canadians will express their attachment to linguistic duality and the French language in particular at the Rendez-vous de la francophonie (RVF).

The 2015 edition of the RVF will be an opportunity to celebrate Canada’s Francophones in all communities in our country. I ask Francophones to invite their Anglophone friends and neighbours to attend any of the 1,800 activities that are organized as part of the RVF this year.

With the theme Joie de vivre: Ça nous rassemble (Joie de vivre: it brings us together), the RVF wants to show that linguistic duality in Canada is not a legal obligation, but a way of life that distinguishes us as Canadians and reinforces our common values and how we identify ourselves.

I wish to thank all our partners, sponsors and friends, particularly the Minister of Canadian Heritage.

Enjoy the Rendez-vous 2015.

Happy RVF 2014!

Jean-Marc Fournier

Jean-Marc Fournier

Minister responsible for Canadian Intergovernmental Affairs and the Canadian Francophonie

The 17th edition of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, a series of major events for Francophones and Francophiles from around the world, demonstrates a deep collective attachment to the French language and the richness of the Francophonie.

A language of pride, culture, science, reflection, innovation, and entrepreneurship, French is spoken all over the world and opens up possibilities for all who have mastered it.

The Francophonie is one of the fundamental characteristics of Canadian identity. Québec, on the eve of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, wishes to highlight the Canadian Francophonie’s essential contribution to enriching the country, as well as the many possibilities it provides to the Canada of tomorrow.

The Hon. Madeleine Meilleur

The Hon. Madeleine Meilleur

Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs

The Rendez-vous de la Francophonie is a must-attend annual event. It is an opportunity to get together and celebrate Francophone culture and heritage across the country.

This year, Ontario’s Francophonie is celebrating its 400th anniversary, and numerous events and activities will highlight this historic moment, projected on to the international stage by the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games hosted by the province this summer.

2015 will be a truly memorable year for Francophones, and I invite you all to participate in this great commemoration of 400 years of French presence in Ontario.

Calin Rovinescu

Calin Rovinescu

President & CEO, Air Canada

Celebrating joie de vivre in French!

As a national carrier, Air Canada is proud to support the recognition of French-speaking Canada. For its 17th edition, Les rendez-vous de la Francophonie will highlight important contributions by the country’s francophones. Every day, we witness how the French language pulls together the different cultural communities in Canada. We are therefore very pleased to join in celebrating the bonds formed through this language that is a source of joie de vivre

John W. Crichton

John W. Crichton

President and CEO of NAV CANADA

"Joie de vivre brings us together"

is a perfect theme to express and celebrate the contributions that francophones and francophiles have made to our diverse and vibrant communities. Whether it is through the provision of bilingual air traffic services or sponsorship of Les rendez vous, NAV CANADA is proud to play a role in bringing all Canadians together to experience some of the best francophone cultural events Canada has to offer.
Bons rendez-vous!

Claude Joli-Cœur

Claude Joli-Cœur

Government Film Commissioner and Chairperson of the National Film Board of Canada

The Rendez-vous de la Francophonie offers many wonderful opportunities to revel in the rich culture of Canada’s diverse French-speaking communities, and to discover—or rediscover—what makes them unique through the encounters and exchanges taking place across the country.

For the 10th year in a row, the National Film Board of Canada is joining in the celebrations, bringing French speakers and francophiles together to enjoy films that reflect these inclusive values, with three programs for the big screen and a special selection online at

Enjoy the festival!