Lifelong Morinville resident Raymonde Riopel poses with the Franco-Albertan flag at Aspen House on Thursday. The blue, white and pink flag will fly over Alberta municipalities beginning Mar. 7. – Lucie Roy photo
Blue, white and pink flags will soon be flying over municipalities in Alberta as communities raise the Franco-Albertan flag in honour of Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF), running Mar. 7 to 23. Although many communities will hold their flag raising Mar. 7, Morinville is set to hoist their flag Mar. 14 at 11 a.m.
Jean-Pierre Grenier created the Franco-Albertan flag as an entry in a Francophone Youth of Alberta contest. In March of 1982, French-Canadian Association of Alberta adopted the design.
The flag has a fleur-de-lys in the upper left corner and a wild rose, the provincial flower of Alberta, in the lower right. The field of blue represents the province, while the white represents the Francophone. The blue and white stripes represent the waters and roads travelled throughout the province by Francophone explorers, settlers and colonists.
The provincial flag raising is part of the launch of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, an initiative of the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue, a group who promotes and supports dialogue between the Francophone and Acadian, and all other communities in Canada.
This year’s theme is Joie de vivre d’hier à demain or Joy of living from yesterday to tomorrow. Again this year RVF is teaming up with Just for Laughs and taking the comedy show across the nation. A show took place in Edmonton in mid February.
Similar flag raising ceremonies will be held across Alberta and throughout the country a number of events will take place to better appreciate the French language and its culture. The RVF is part of the Journee Internationale de la Francophonie, which is held around the world Mar. 20 to promote the French language.
More than 9.5 million Canadians speak French, including 538,000 in Alberta. French is the first language of 67,000 Albertans.
For more info on Rendezvous la Francophonie, visit RVF.ca.