March 15, 2010
SAINT JOHN (CNB) - Francophones and admirers of the French language and culture gathered at the Centre scolaire Samuel-de-Champlain in Saint John today to launch officially the 21st Provincial French Pride Week.
The opening ceremony reflected the theme, Partons à l'aventure, fêtons notre culture, with a strong representation from the Acadian and francophone arts community through songs and personal anedcotes as well as the presentation of an ArtsSmarts project by students at the Centre scolaire Samuel-de-Champlain.
Close to 650 students attended the celebrations, sporting T-shirts on which they had each drawn something to portray their French pride.
Wellness, Culture and Sport Minister Hédard Albert, who is also the minister responsible for the francophonie, said he was thrilled to see so many young people showing pride in their language and culture.
"Every time I take part in Provincial French Pride Week activities, I am amazed by the creativity of the young people and the way they fervently display their pride in being francophone," said Albert. "I encourage the students to demonstrate this pride and their cultural and linguistic identity throughout the year, at school, in their community and among their anglophone friends."
Albert, who represented Education Minister Roland Haché, also praised admirers of the French language and culture as well as anglophone students in school districts 6, 8 and 10 who were watching the ceremony live on the Provincial French Pride Week website (French only).
Numerous cultural and sports events encouraging the French language and francophone diversity in New Brunswick will be organized by the students, school staff and communities during the week of March 15 to 19.
A new event has been added to the activities this year: a provincial debating tournament. In co-operation with Branch 5 of l'Association des enseignantes et enseignants francophones du Nouveau-Brunswick (AEFNB), the Department of Education will present Tournoi de débats 2010 at the Polyvalente Louis-Mailloux in Caraquet, on Saturday, March 20 - International Francophonie Day.
Provincial French Pride Week is the result of a partnership involving:
MEDIA CONTACT: Johanne Le Blanc, communications, Department of Education, 506-453-3085.