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With only a few months left to the Olympics kick off on July 27th in London, now seems like the right moment, to reminisce on the role of the French language in the deployment of the greatest sporting event on the planet. The Canadian Francophonie can help promote the influence of the French language by allowing French to take its rightful place in the heart of England.

Let’s start be taking a short trip down memory lane to last year’s appointment of former Governor General of Canada, Michaëlle Jean, as a great witness of the Francophonie (grand témoin de la francophonie) for the London Olympics. Appointed by Abdou Diouf, Secretary General of the International Organisation of La Francophonie, Ms. Jean will act as an observer and will promote the use of French at ceremonies and competitions including establishing relations with the organizing committee. There will be a Canadian twist in the French lyrics, cheers and speeches proclaimed in the English capital.

Here are Ms. Jean’s comments on her appointment in April of 2011. “I see this opportunity for the London Games as an extraordinary moment, again, to spread the French language,” she said.

Canadian Signature

Another French Canadian key element will be put in place in order to ensure the presence of the French language in London this summer. An agreement on the place of the French language at the Olympics will be signed next month in Quebec City. The agreement between the International Organization of la Francophonie and the Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games will be concluded within the SportAccord Convention to be held, May 25th. One small problem, according to the Canadian Press article, the convention will be held mainly in English …

Finally, Rule 23 of the Olympic Charter states that French is one of two official languages of the Olympic movement:

1. The official languages of the IOC are French and English.

2. At all Sessions, simultaneous interpretation must be provided into French, English, German, Spanish, Russian and Arabic.

3. In the case of divergence between the French and English texts of the Olympic Charter and any other IOC document, the French text shall prevail unless expressly provided otherwise in writing.

Philippe Daoust


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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 blogue@rvf.ca.

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Centre de la francophonie des amériques
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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 Cloutier

Jean-Marc Cloutier

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

Acting 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!