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Whether at the grade school or high school level approximately 320,000 young Canadians attend French immersion schools. These students are guided in their learning on a daily basis by two thousand professionals of the Canadian Association of Immersion Teachers (CAIT). In constant growth, immersion is the key to francization and encourages bilingualism across the country.

To understand the importance of French immersion, one has only to speak with those who have studied in this context. The last Olympics in Vancouver where you could hear several Canadian athletes conversing in French after their athletic performance is a great example. According to Chantal Bourbonnais, director general of CAIT, this is a perfect example of the influence of French immersion.

“We believe in the importance of verbal communication because spoken language is the first thing we learn,” says Ms. Bourbonnais. “Once French is mastered verbally, the rest falls into place. It is the first skill to acquire.” In an immersion school, at least half of the day takes place in French, which means that more than just the French course is taught in French. Students enrolled in such schools speak English or a language other than French as their first language.

French Resources

In addition to offering training and professional development to its members, the CAIT organizes an annual conference which reunites hundreds of immersion teachers, conducts research and promotes bilingualism throughout the country. Since most teaching tools presently available are written in or translated from English, the organisation also develops French educational tools in order to meet the needs of immersion teachers.

Another Angle

“Immersion provides us with a different perspective of the Canadian Francophonie,” believes Ms. Bourbonnais. “We too often forget the contribution and influence that Francophiles make and have on the French language.” When one considers that nearly half the members of CAIT’s  board of directors are Anglophones who fell in love with the French language and who attended immersion schools as children and young adults, one can understand the full meaning of the organisation’s mission.

Finally, according to CAIT’s director, the demand for immersion schools far exceeds the current supply. If the financial and professional resources were available, the number of immersion students would certainly increase. Until then, CAIT will continue to offer services and quality tools to its members in order to allow the French language to woo, day after day, hundreds of thousands of young Canadian Francophiles.

Philippe Daoust


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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 blogue@rvf.ca.
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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 RVF.ca.

Enjoy the festival!