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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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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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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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!