Last year, I wrote a post about Cassia Abbot-LaDuke’s brilliant introduction to growing up French in Anglophone Canada. It came in a form of a seventeen-part radio show broadcast by CFFF-FM, Peterborough, Ontario’s community radio station. It was only one of nine radio documentaries presented by National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA) member stations, with the support of the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue, to celebrate RVF 2015. This year, in advance of RVF 2016, the project has expanded to include 22 NCRA member stations, each presenting a 28-minute spot highlighting local Francophone culture. From East to West, these … Read more »

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In his blog this week, my colleague Philippe recounts a recent conversation he had with Canada’s Official Languages Commissioner, Graham Fraser. Mr. Fraser related an interesting experience he had with a group of recent immigrants to Toronto, who were quite shocked to find a dearth of French in the city. Judging by the federal government’s fully bilingual websites, they’d naturally assumed that the entire country was bilingual, and therefore that Toronto would be a fine city for a Francophone to begin a new life. It’s worth exploring why these assumptions were reasonable. On the world stage, monolingualism is odd, with … Read more »

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affiche RVF 2016-en (002)

The Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue is proud to announce the colors of les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF) 2016. For its 18th edition, les RVF will be held from March 3 to 23, 2016 under the theme: “La Francophonie in 3D: Diversity, Duality, Dynamism!” A SIGNIFICANT THEME Canada is unique from other countries in its shared values. Les RVF will emphasize this set of values in three dimensions during its 2016-2018 triennium edition. Diversity: Since the Indigenous peoples hosted the first explorers and newcomers, Canada has been recognized as a welcoming land of peace. The desire to build a … Read more »

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  Attention students and teachers of francophone schools in official language minority communities! Is your school awesome enough to flash mob the world? Then this contest, presented by La Cité college, is for you! Here’s the set-up: Get dressed up, along with a few or a dozen or a hundred (the more the better, really) of your friends, classmates, teachers, principals, support staff, and anyone else who’s a part of your school community (even parents!). Get together in a decked-out, true-to-your-school venue. Choose a francophone song that represents your province or community. Dance to it! (Don’t worry, you don’t have … Read more »

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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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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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