The international day of the Francophonie is celebrated annually on March 20 all around the world in more than 50 countries. Here in Canada, more than nine million Francophones will get together for the Rendez vous de la Francophonie, a two-week celebration of French culture and history. This year, celebrations of the 14th annual Rendez-vous de la Francophonie will have as their theme "Understanding builds a better future".Two hundred and twenty five thousand people speak French in Alberta of which 70,000 are native speakers. I am proud to be one of those.
Back in 1912, my paternal grandfather made his way first to Montreal then out west to establish a homestead in northern Alberta. He came from a tiny town in the Champagne region of France... to establish a tiny French speaking enclave in Alberta's untamed north.
Against all odds, French has remained strong in our Province thanks also to friends and Francophiles who have elected to learn the language. «Understanding builds a better future» as many Canadians understand first hand. We are all one even though we may not speak the same languages.
Vive le Canada!