This week, Francophone communities across Canada have been celebrating the 3rd annual Francophone Immigration Week, with the theme of “Building Community through Diversity.” An initiative of the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne du Canada (Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities of Canada, FCFA) and the Réseaux en immigration francophone (Francophone Immigration Networks, RIFs), it’s an opportunity to celebrate the diversity of Canada’s Francophone communities, and to welcome, support and strengthen our ties with Francophone newcomers. One such a newcomer is 32-year-old Thomas Vermeulen, a native of Britanny, France, who sold off his car and the rest of his belongings to live and … Read more »

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In recent months, well-established French Canadian artists have been making waves in the English-speaking world. Take, for example, Francophone director Xavier Dolan, whose video for Adele’s new song, “Hello” (shot in the countryside just outside of Montreal), was watched over 100 million times within five days of being posted. Or the other half-dozen French directors currently galvanizing not only the Indie film scene, but Hollywood itself. Or how about Coeur de pirate, the stage name of the Francophone singer and songwriter, Beatrice Martin; well loved in Quebec and France, and once credited as “the best reason to learn French,” her … Read more »

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According to Statistics Canada, there are over one million Canadians outside of Québec who speak French as their mother tongue. As Francophones from across the world continue to move to Canada, this number is steadily increasing, further diversifying and strengthening the Canadian Francophonie. With that, the need for greater access to Francophone schooling has also increased. Francophone minority education, where French is the predominant language of all school activities in a mainly English setting, is much different from French Immersion, where French is taught in a Second Language context. It is primarily geared for students with a Francophone heritage, who … Read more »

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Five years ago, September 25 was formally declared as Franco-Ontarian Day, a day to “officially recognize the contribution of Ontario’s Francophone community to the cultural, historical, social, economic and political life of the province.” The day also marks the anniversary of the first raising of the Franco-Ontarian flag in 1975. The flag was the second symbol adopted by Francophones outside Québec (the first being the Acadian flag, first raised in 1884). Divided into two halves, the fleur-de-lis represents the Francophonie, while the trillium denotes Ontario; the green signifies summer, and the white represents winter. And it is especially important this … Read more »

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The Toronto International Film Festival has just drawn to a close, and, once again, it was French Canadian film directors who made entertainment news headlines. As one article, titled Domination du monde: How French Canadian directors are taking over the world of cinema, in the National Post put it: When Jean-Marc Vallée’s Demolition opened the Toronto International Film Festival on Thursday, it marked the culmination of a shift that’s been happening in Canadian cinema for the last several years. We have reached a turning point where our most recognized filmmakers and cinematic ambassadors are no longer English-speaking directors. They are … Read more »

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And so September begins. The longstanding fight for better access to French Immersion for kids in Surrey B.C. continues and, having paid the big bucks, the grown-ups are returning from Western University’s French Immersion summer school in Trois-Pistoles. In the meantime, some folks—albeit a relatively insignificant minority—are grumbling about Anglophone rights in a few English-speaking enclaves in Québec and New Brunswick. At the helm of one such a protest is Ruth Kovak, a city councillor in the Montreal-area’s Côte-Saint-Luc. According to one CBC report, for Kovak, the French-only signage of her district’s predominantly English-speaking neighbourhoods has been “unacceptable.” So, about … Read more »

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Canada has assembled a formidable team for this year’s Pan Am Games, composed of athletes who’ve already won a combined total of 28 Olympic medals and who’ve far surpassed our previous Pan Am medal records with a total of 181 medals as of Thursday night. And as we cheer on the team in the last days of the Games, considering the Francophone contribution has given us Francophiles even more cause to celebrate Toronto 2015. 1. It’s become clear that some of the country’s best athletes are Francophone. French Canadians have earned the home team medals in taekwondo, weightlifting, squash, boxing, … Read more »

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Our home team has now surpassed 100 medals at the Pan Am games, and Francophone Canada is well represented. Below, I’ve listed just a few of my favourite athletes: Maxime Brinck-Croteau: From Markham, Ontario, Brinck-Croteau won silver in individual épée at the Pan American Fencing Championships back in April, qualifying him not only for the Toronto Pan Am Games, but for the 2016 Olympics as well. Watch the TFO interview with Brinck-Croteau here, and be sure to watch out for him at the fencing events scheduled this week. Mandy Bujold: A nine-time Canadian boxing champion born in Moncton, New Brunswick, … Read more »

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Tonight at 8pm EST in downtown Toronto, Québec and Canada’s own Cirque du Soleil will stir the spirit of the Pan American Games.   The Opening Ceremony, to be broadcast live to millions of viewers around the world, will feature a cast of 625 performers representing 25 nationalities—a vibrant reflection of the diversity embodied in the Games themselves. And with over 6000 athletes from 41 nations—not to mention myriad volunteers and spectators—brought together for a taste of victory, the Games are a true jambalaya, a colourful fusion of varied cultures and languages from across the Americas. In the lively medley of … Read more »

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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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Our Blogger

A stay-at-home mom and freelance editor and writer, our blogger Kirsten McPherson has tried hard to improve her French in an entirely Anglophone part of Canada.

If you have comments or suggestions, please don’t hesitate to contact her at
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