by Lucie Roy
Morinville celebrated its French heritage on Friday starting with the raising of the Franco-Albertan flag in St. Jean Baptiste Park at noon. The flag-raising was followed by a Circomedy show for students by Athan Ross at the cultural centre. Friday night’s activities included a dinner and entertainment by Pascal et les Mauavais Caracteres, a Francophone musical tribute to Quebec’s legendary band, Les Colocs.
The high energy show had fun songs from swing, reggae, boogie and a section with harmonica and a brass.
Displays at the MCCC featured #Elle Bouge- She Moves, one of the first of its kind to be presented in Canada and in French.
The campaign aims to present Francophone women in Alberta of different sizes,ages, backgrounds with different sports abilities.
The raising of the Franco-Albertan flag took place at the Musee Morinville Museum surrounded by students from the Notre Dame French Immersion classes, residents, guests, Deputy Mayor Scott Richardson and Councillors Lawrence Giffen and Stephen Dafoe, Town of Morinville staff, ACFA Centralta Region Director Josee Cote and Associate Minister of Natural Gas and MLA for Morinville-St. Albert Dale Nally.
In his presentation, Nally brought greetings on behalf of Premier Jason Kenney and all of his government colleagues.
“As we gather here today for the raising of the flag, it is a perfect opportunity to reflect on the presence and impact of francophones in Alberta.”
Nally went on to say that, “from as far North as La Crete to Bellevue in Southern Alberta, generations of French settlers helped build Alberta. French-speaking Albertans continue to leave their mark on this province through determination and passion for their homes, for their province, for their language and culture. Every day you speak French, you make a choice to share a bit of yourself and your communities with others around- you contribute to the vitality of the Francophonie and all of us in Alberta benefit from that.”
“You are the face of the Francophonie in Alberta and you proudly represent Canada’s two official languages communities, said Nally, and with this raising of the flag, we are celebrating the past, present and future of the Francophonie in Alberta.”
French is the second most spoken language in the province and the francophone population is on the rise.
Statistics Canada has predicted that Albert will see the highest growth in Canada between 2011 and 2036.
Currently, over 250,000 Albertans speak French.
The Franco-Albertan flag was officially unveiled on Marc 6 1982 at the Congres Annuel de l’Association Canadienne-Francaise de l’Alberta (ACFA).
On June 14 2017 the Government of Alberta adopted the first French Policy in which it recognized the economic, cultural and social contributions that Alberta’s French-speaking population has made and continues to make for the province.
The policy also introduced the Franco-Albertan flag as the emblem of the francophone cultural group, symbolizing their distinction and their contribution to Alberta’s diversity(the first under the Emblems of Alberta Act).