Today, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA) du Canada kicked off the 9th National Francophone Immigration Week. The launch was attended by representatives of two partner organizations—Éditions David and the University of Regina’s Cité universitaire francophone. Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Minister Sean Fraser also addressed participants.
This year’s theme is Une francophonie aux mille saveurs (Canada’s Francophonie: A Myriad of Flavours). It serves as an invitation to explore and savour the diversity that defines the Francophonie by participating in a range of activities designed to encourage cultural exchange. Between now and November 13, more than 200 activities will take place across the country (see the online calendar).
Close to 100 people attending the launch had an opportunity to learn about Histoires d’immigration, the latest book published by Éditions David, as well as about the African Studies program introduced this academic year at La Cité universitaire francophone. Three immigrant authors featured in the book talked about their experiences integrating into the Franco-Ontarian community.
In keeping with the theme of this year’s event, the second part of the official launch involved an international spice sampling workshop. The activity was organized in partnership with the Réseau en immigration francophone de l’Alberta (RIFA) and three of the regions participating in the Welcoming Francophone Communities initiative: Hawkesbury (Ontario), Haut-Saint-Jean (New Brunswick) and Clare (Nova Scotia).
The first of several three-minute videos providing a taste of the Francophone flavour found in welcoming Francophone communities was also premiered at the launch. The screening served as an introduction to an awareness campaign titled Ma saveur francophone en 180 secondes. The campaign is being produced by multiple community partners from different provinces and territories. The videos from the campaign will be shared on social media throughout National Francophone Immigration Week. They explore how Francophones use various forms of expression—including dance, poetry, storytelling and photography—to express their love for different aspects of community life.
In addition, the FCFA is launching a national photography contest. Members of the public are invited to submit photos showcasing the festivities and diversity that bring Francophone and Acadian communities to life. The winning photo will be featured on the official poster for next year’s National Francophone Immigration Week.
Coordinated nationally by the FCFA and regionally by the various Réseaux en immigration francophone (Francophone Immigration Networks), National Francophone Immigration Week aims to highlight the diversity and inclusiveness of Francophone and Acadian communities.
“Beyond merely incorporating cultural diversity, I see how Francophone and Acadian communities strive to embrace diversity more broadly—and that is where we are headed in terms of inclusion. Activities will include outreach with Indigenous peoples and discussions on anti-racism efforts underway since last year’s edition of the event, as well as today’s launch hosted by the FCFA, which includes sign language interpretation. I invite all Francophones to enjoy themselves over the course of the event and to participate in the various activities.”
– Liane Roy, President, FCFA
“Immigration has played a crucial role in Canada’s economic growth, particularly Francophone immigration, which supports our country’s linguistic duality. It is a priority for our government to continue to attract and retain Francophone newcomers. I thank the FCFA for its support in this area and look forward to collaborating on innovative projects that will help sustain the Canadian Francophonie.”
– The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship
“As an immigrant to Canada myself, the values promoted by this event are dear to me, both on a personal level and in relation to my professional activities at La Cité universitaire francophone. For many years, I have been an ardent proponent of this drive for inclusion, this approach to sharing Francophone culture. Today, I’m proud to say that my efforts and those of my team have proven very fruitful, opening the door to greater integration and knowledge of Saskatchewan’s Francophone minority community.”
– Dr. Emmanuel Aito, Director, La Cité universitaire francophone, University of Regina
“Éditions David deeply appreciates the value of words, the power of a story. Each in their own way, the 40 authors who share their stories in the collection titled Histoires d’immigration demonstrate the courage, openness, hope and commitment to inclusion associated with that intense human experience known as migration. We wish everyone a wonderful National Francophone Immigration Week. We are proud to be associated with the event.”
—Frédéric Brisson, Executive Director, Éditions David