Joie de vivre, which means “The Joy of Living”, is the theme of the 17th annual Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, emphasizing get-togethers, fun and good times. This theme is especially fitting as Francophones are known for their joie de vivre and love of sharing their culture and traditions.
- Approximately 238,000 Albertans speak French
- More than 390,000 Albertans are of French descent
- Approximately 1 in 3 students in Alberta are enrolled in Francophone, French Immersion or French as a Second Language program
People are often surprised to learn that Francophones have been a part of Alberta’s linguistic and cultural make-up since the province’s early beginnings (make sure to check out next week’s blog post for more on that!). In fact, French was the first European language that was spoken in the province.
The Francophone population in Alberta has grown by approximately 18% since 2006 and 40% since 1996. Perhaps even more remarkable is that Alberta has the highest francophone population net growth in Canada after Québec and Ontario.
Much of that growth comes from immigration and interprovincial migration from other French-speaking parts of Canada: 69% of Alberta’s Francophone population was born outside the province, and 16% was born outside of Canada. It then comes as no surprise that Alberta’s Francophonie (this term encompasses both language and cultures) has many faces, accents and cultural expressions.
Celebrate our diversity
The Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF) is a pan-Canadian initiative created to celebrate this incredible diversity. Here in Canada, close to ten million Francophones will gather over a two-week period during March (6-22) for flag-raising ceremonies, sugar shacks, film screenings, singing, theatre and so much more, all to celebrate French language, culture and history.
These festivities are capped off by the International Day of the Francophonie on March 20, a day that is organized every year in more than 50 countries around the world to promote the French language and its numerous cultural expressions.
To find out more about events happening in Alberta during this two-week celebration and to join in on the fun, visit Rendez-vous de la Francophonie.