Provincial Secretary Wayne Elhard proclaimed March 7 to 23 as Rendez-vous de la Francophonie 2014 in Saskatchewan – a chance for all residents to join with other Canadians to celebrate French language and culture.
“In Saskatchewan, Rendez-vous recognizes the historic Fransaskois contributions to the cultural, economic and social fabric of our province for more than a century,” Elhard said. “The Fransaskois role in the province’s future is more relevant than ever, as an increasing number of French-speaking newcomers continue making Saskatchewan their home and contribute to the growth of our province.”
Rendez-vous de la Francophonie is held annually throughout Canada in March to promote French language and francophone culture. It also coincides with the International Day of La Francophonie on March 20.
Communities across Saskatchewan will participate in the celebrations with various events. To learn more, visit the calendar section of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie website which is available in English and French at www.rvf.ca.
Canada has approximately 9.5 million French speakers, while Saskatchewan has almost 50,000. Saskatchewan’s francophones, known as Fransaskois, are found throughout the province with concentrations in Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw, Prince Albert, Bellegarde, Bellevue, Debden, Gravelbourg, la Trinité (Vonda, Prud’homme, St. Denis), The Battlefords, Ponteix, Willow Bunch and Zenon Park.
Many of the first French-speaking settlers from France and Belgium. More recent French-speaking newcomers to Saskatchewan have arrived from Congo, Morocco.