March 20 proclaimed B.C. Francophonie Day
Adrian Dix, Minister of Health and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs, has issued a proclamation to mark the 21st annual B.C. Francophonie Day.
In advance of B.C. Francophonie Day, which coincides with International Francophonie Day, Dix hosted a celebration with the francophone community.
“La Journée de la francophonie en Colombie-Britannique celebrates the important and valuable contributions of French-speaking residents,” said Dix. “This year, we recognize the significant contributions francophone organizations in British Columbia make in helping francophone newcomers feel welcomed, settled and integrated in our province. British Columbia is home to thousands of French-speaking residents and welcomes many French-speaking Canadians and newcomers annually, all of whom contribute to the richness of the province.”
At the celebration, Dix presented the B.C. Francophonie Day Award to Le Cercle des Canadiens Français de Prince George for its Welcoming Francophone Community Initiative, which fosters a most welcoming environment for immigrants and facilitates their community integration.
Dix also announced the Province will build on the success of its French Languages Services Fund by providing $250,000 in ongoing funding to support projects benefiting B.C.’s Francophonie.
“Thanks to Le Cercle des Canadiens Français de Prince George and their partners, French-speaking newcomers to B.C. are fully embraced in the local, provincial and national Francophonie,” Dix said.
Sarah Maurice, executive director of Le Cercle des Canadiens Français de Prince George, said: “This is a great recognition of the work done by our dedicated team to kindly and cordially welcome francophones from other areas to our beautiful region of Prince George. The key to effective retention and settlement is being able to rely on a thriving community.”
Jacky Essombe, chair of the board of Le Relais Francophone, a provincial co-operative network whose mission is to assist francophone newcomers settling in the province, said: “On behalf of le Relais Francophone, we congratulate Le Cercle des Canadiens Français de Prince George on their achievement. In addition, we appreciate the government making this proclamation because it draws attention to the contributions of francophones around the world.”
To mark B.C. Francophonie Day and International Francophonie Day, the Province will raise the Franco-Columbian flag outside the B.C. Parliament Buildings on Monday, March 20. More than 70,000 francophone and more than 300,000 French-speaking people in British Columbia live in all regions of the province.