When the Francophonie Becomes a Means of Economic Diversification

Canada Economic Development for Québec Regions and Canadian Heritage recently invested thousands of dollars in French cultural projects across Canada. Recent federal contributions will allow Canadian Francaphonie to shine in British Columbia, Québec, Ontario, New Brunswick as well as France and Louisiana.

Canada Economic Development’s (CED) Community Diversification program supports the efforts of communities from the province of Québec who wish to maintain and develop their economic base through community mobilization, community development and attractive communities. This time the money invested by CED not only supports the economic development of one region, it also helps promote Francophone heritage from one end of the country to the other.

With the 173, 750 $ non-repayable contribution announced last November, the Festival en chanson de Petite-Vallée will have the funding required for the commercialization of its music festival to Francophone markets in New Brunswick, Ontario, France and Louisiana.

Francophone artists can also contribute to this community’s economic development by participating in the festival, which celebrates its 30th anniversary in 2012, in large numbers. French song lovers will be regaled and the community will benefit from a financial boost in order to pursue cultural development by promoting the French language.

Yet another shining example

At the other end of the country, The Cercle des Canadiens Français de Prince George in British Colombia will be able to count on the support of the Government of Canada in delivering the 27th Festival d’Hiver FRACOFUN. An amount of 6, 500$ will be provided through the Building Communities Through Arts and Heritage program of the Department of Canadian Heritage.

The program provides Canadians with more opportunities to take part in activities that present local arts and culture and celebrate local history and heritage. In a recent press release the Honorable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages said “Our Government received a strong mandate from Canadians to invest in projects that showcase our culture and define our Canadian identity. We are proud to support local festivals like the Festival d'Hiver FRANCOFUN that promote Francophone heritage.”

The Cercle des Canadiens Français de Prince George brings together Francophones and Francophiles in Prince George with the goal of promoting the French language, celebrating their French-Canadian culture and heritage, and expanding the Francophone community.

It’s encouraging to see that the Francophonie impacts not only language pride affiliation but can also act as an economic paving stone for communities across Canada.

Philippe Daoust