Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF) is one of the cultural events organized in celebration of International Francophonie Day (March 20), which promotes the French language and its many expressions across Canada every year.
In 2021, Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie will hold its 23rd edition! It is an initiative of the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue, whose mandate is to promote dialogue and forge closer ties between the Francophone and Acadian communities and all other communities in Canada.
Throughout the month of March, Canada will be celebrating its Francophonie! Hundreds of activities will take place across the country, multicultural meetings, performances, film screenings, contests and educational activities. In light of the pandemic, all the activities will be presented in an innovative fashion.
The RVF is an extraordinary opportunity to celebrate together, and we’ll take any reason to have a good time!
Artist Jill Barber will be a spokesperson for the 2021 Rendez-vous de la Francophonie. Born in Port Credit, Ontario, Jill has lived all over Canada. She spent six years in Halifax, Nova Scotia, before settling in Vancouver, British Columbia, which is where she currently resides.
As a teenager, the singer-songwriter was exposed to music when her brother started playing the guitar. He was like a hero to Jill. She decided to follow in his footsteps by learning to play the guitar and then writing her own songs. Years went by, and music continued to be part of Jill’s life. She has now turned it into full-time career. Music is what led her to explore Halifax and Vancouver and discover their music scenes.
Jill Barber is Anglophone, but is committed to speaking French. Her English-speaking parents, who are unilingual, decided to enroll her in French immersion when she was young. She dropped out of the program after two years, but after a trip to France as an adult, she developed a renewed interest in learning her second language. Since then, she has tried to speak French whenever she has an opportunity to do so.
Jill released a second album in French in the summer of 2020. It was initially supposed to feature only cover versions, but it evolved into an album of original songs. This type of project has helped Jill to continue to improve her French. She has even revealed that music makes it easier to express herself in her second language.
What a perfect example of what music can do!
This year, artist YAO will be a spokesperson for the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie. To that end, we’d like to briefly introduce you to this great singer who has taken his art to new heights. You’re bound to fall in love with his personality and music.
Originally from Côte d’Ivoire, Yaovi Hoyi arrived in Canada when he was 13 years old. His family chose to settle in Ontario, and more specifically, in Canada’s capital city. Although life could have taken YAO to another part of the country or the world, his home base has remained the same since then. To this day, you might run into him in the streets of Ottawa—when he’s not on tour, that is!
YAO could be described as an explorer of the arts. He’s not only a singer-songwriter, but also a poet, slam artist, writer, comedian and entrepreneur. Basically, his résumé is probably at least 20 pages long! His artistic side emerged rather early in life. He was interested in theatre and creative writing as a teenager. However, he studied business at university and then found a job in finance.
Yet, art wasn’t completely out of the picture. After a few years, music became his full-time job. His solo career took off in 2011 with the album Généris, which was followed by Perles et Paraboles in 2013 and Lapsus in 2016. Thanks to this latest album, he was able to go on tour across Canada. YAO earned many nominations at the 2019 Trille Or Awards Gala, where he won awards for “Best Solo Artist,” “Best Live Show,” and “Media Favourite.”
We can say “yes” in response to his song titled Dis-moi que tu m’aimes encore [Tell me that you still love me]. We’ll always love him!
Through the 2021 RVF celebrations, we will highlight the fact that Acadia is the birthplace of Canada’s Francophonie while acknowledging that Indigenous peoples have been present in and contributed to North America for thousands of years. The Acadians were the first Europeans to settle the land that became Canada. The RVF will provide a unique opportunity to celebrate the role Acadians played in shaping our country.
This year’s slogan is “ACADIA, at the heart of my country! One language, thousands of stories.”
This theme will showcase Acadians’ contributions to Canada’s cultural fabric and recognize their historical presence in our country as well as their distinct culture in all its diversity. This year’s theme will also allow Canadians to learn more about Acadian people and their importance in our society.
The 2021 RVF poster reflects the theme “ACADIA, AT THE HEART OF MY COUNTRY! ONE LANGUAGE, THOUSANDS OF STORIES” and features the colours of the Acadian flag. The blue, white and red bands of colour stretch to the bottom of the poster, giving the impression that the flag is rising upwards. This represents the resilience of the Acadian people. The star, found in the upper left-hand corner of the poster, is the same one that has guided seafarers since time immemorial. The clay sculpture in the centre of the poster gazes towards this star. The stylized sculpture of a person sitting in a boat evokes the maritime heritage of the Acadian people. The person sets off to share their culture and their story with Canadians. The person’s face expresses at once joy, wisdom, resilience and, above all, pride in their heritage. A lighthouse, symbolically placed near the bow, illustrates the intent of the 2021 RVF: to shine a light on the tremendous contribution of the Acadians, a founding people, to the creation of our Canadian identity.
Hon. Allister Surette, Chair
C.E.N.É., Rector and vice-chancellor
Jenny Matingu, Vice-President
Françoise Sigur-Cloutier, Director
Consultant - committed citizen
Suzanne Jacob, Treasurer
Chair of la Société de développement économique (SDE) de la Colombie-Britannique
Ania Kolodziej, Director
Lawyer – Juristes Power
Yvon Godin, Director
Claire Thibideau, Director
Consultant in francophone education
Chedly Belkhodja, Director
Teacher and Director, Concordia University
Paulette Duguay, Director
Alain-Michel Sékula, Director
Président du conseil de RSSFE (Réseau des services de santé en français de l’est de l’Ontario)
Yves Ducharme, Director
Chair of Regroupement des gens d'affaires de la Capitale nationale
Georges Arsenault, Director
Historian, ethnologist and communicator
Prince Edward Island
Daphné Kathia Rosalber, Director
Jean Johnson, Director
Chair, FCFA du Canada
La Fédération des francophones de la Colombie-Britannique
Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta
L’Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise
Société de la francophonie manitobaine
Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario
Fédération acadienne de la Nouvelle-Écosse
Fédération culturelle de l'Île-du-Prince-Édouard
Xavier Lord-Giroux, Linda Bussey
Association des francophones du Nunavut