French-speaking cultures are the focus of upcoming Week of Francophonie

York’s Departments of French Studies at Glendon College and in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies (LA&PS) invite the community to celebrate French-speaking cultures of the world during the University’s first-ever Week of Francophonie. The theme will be “Ensemble, en français!” or “Together, in French!”

March 20 is International Francophonie Day, and more than 274 million people representing every continent will celebrate their heritage. French is an official language in more than 30 countries around the world. This cultural mosaic, although invisible to some, is very much a part of the York University social fabric.

All French units at York will join forces and collaborate with the Office of Advancement to show that French is alive and well at both our Keele and Glendon campuses, and celebrate the incredible diversity of our Francophone mosaic.

There will be a wide range of activities to satisfy all French language and culture enthusiasts in the community. Students will be encouraged to move between the various events using a French Cultural passport. The most active students will then be awarded a French Cultural Engagement Certificate.

On Monday, March 20, a flurry of activities will take place to inaugurate the week and mark the official International Day of Francophonie.

Glendon will host representatives of the various GTA Francophone community organizations in the presence of Ontario’s Minister of Francophone Affairs, the Hon. Marie-France Lalonde, who will host a Q&A session that will be streamed live.

Meanwhile, in the Founders College Senior Common Room, discussions will uncover the secrets of becoming an effective bilingual job candidate.

The day will end with a delightful set of poetic interpretations, as part of a tribute to one of France’s favorite poets, Jacques Prévert, who died 40 years ago.

Tuesday, March 21 will make way for gourmet pleasures with a multicultural French feast from noon until 2pm, including music and cultural games. The rest of the afternoon will be filled with performances by students from Harbord Collegiate High School and York’s own French-enthusiast aspiring artists.

And finally, Francophones from across the GTA will be invited on Friday, March 24, to a community conversation on the value of joining forces to ensure all communities can thrive in the city. This event will bring the festivities to a close.

Participation to all events is free, but donations toward the creation of a Community Engagement bursary will be welcome.

Please note that seating is limited, particularly for the Tuesday lunch event, and early registration is encouraged by emailing franfest@yorku.ca.

For more information, email franfest@yorku.ca or visit francophonie.yorku.ca.

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