“bonjour my friend” Tour: Duality is Unity!

Yesterday evening at the Excentricité Pavilion at La Cité College in Ottawa, ambassadors of various member countries of the International Organisation of La Francophonie (OIF) joined Canadian dignitaries and friends of La Francophonie to celebrate International Francophonie Day.

Organized by the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue, the reception was also an occasion to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act (OLA), a keystone to the equal status of French and English that defines Canada’s linguistic duality.

In celebration of this important event in our nation’s history, the Foundation unveiled a national strategy: the Tournée "bonjour my friend" Tour, with the goal to share information on the OLA, to learn more about the richness of Canada’s official language duality, and to engage Canadians from coast to coast in discussions about linguistic duality as a shared value.

“Some groups question the presence of two official languages throughout the country. It is time to demonstrate the openness to one another that is an inherent part of linguistic duality, to emphasize the priceless asset that linguistic duality represents,” stated Guy Matte, Executive Director of the Foundation.

On April 15, the Bonjour my friend! caravan will begin its cross-Canada voyage from Victoria, BC to St. John’s NL with two ambassadors aboard. Laura Lussier and Shaunpal Jandu will launch and carry on a national conversation in every major city, sharing what they’ve learned and the discoveries they’ve made along the way.

You’ll find travel diaries and daily videos on their journey at the project’s website, along with information on the OLA, a timeline on its creation, various Canadians’ perspectives on language duality, and an educational guide for secondary and post-secondary students—all presented in both official languages.

Check it out and find out more: http://bonjourmyfriend.ca

Kirsten McPherson

The Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue and the 2019 RVF team would like to thank their major partners, including the Department of Canadian Heritage, Air Canada, the Language Portal of Canada (an initiative of the Translation Bureau, Public Services and Procurement Canada), NAV Canada, VIA Rail, the National Film Board, the Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française (FJCF), RDÉE Canada, the Association canadienne d’éducation de langue française (ACELF), the Secrétariat du Québec aux relations canadiennes and the Association de la presse francophone.