There was a time in Canada when most parents who could enrol their kids in minority francophone schools were in couples made up of two francophones. But those days are gone. Today, the majority of parents who can have their children educated in French as a first language are in mixed francophone/non-francophone relationships.
There are also single parents and francophones who have lost French as a family language, as well as newcomers to this country and some non-francophone couples who want their children to master French.
The world of minority francophone education in Canada is changing radically. And with it comes the need to welcome and support a wide variety of parents, not all of whom speak French. That’s the reason for this website and for all the services I offer as a consultant.
Welcome to Francophone Education in Canada, which takes over where www.exogam.ca left off. I hope you’ll find this site relevant, fun and useful!
Are you familiar with the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF)? The 14th edition of this annual national celebration, held from March 9 to 25, 2012, was a resounding success. Some 180,000 people took part in RVF activities, and more than 51,000 watched the televised version of the “Blow your Mind over La Francophonie!” comedy gala produced in collaboration with the École nationale de l’humour.
This year also saw the number of RVF Facebook friends shoot up to over 12,800, thanks in part to a comic-skit contest. Here's the winning clip:
These are all major undertakings, as is this “double-i” organization’s latest initiative: to launch a Canada-wide television channel!
Accent on ACCENTS
Welcome to Accents, a new French-language channel whose license application is currently before the CRTC. The goal of this project is to promote Canada’s francophone presence on TV and the web by putting the accent (so to speak) on Acadian and francophone minority communities. The following clip explains in French what Accents is all about:
It’s important for the CRTC to know that the public supports this new project aimed at bringing Canadians together. You can help by visiting the Accents site and clicking on “I support!”. It takes just a few seconds, and increases the odds that the CRTC will grant the licence.
(As for the FCFA, or the Federation of Francophone and Acadian Communities of Canada, it’s the national and international voice of Canadian francophones outside Quebec.)
Why do I call the Foundation a “double-i” organization? Because it’s both invisible and important: few people know of it, but many benefit from its initiatives.
Words vs. actions
Lots of people talk about the Canadian Francophonie’s growing diversity, the result of immigration and mixed marriages among other things. (Should I mention that two-thirds of francophone youth outside Quebec live in mixed households? That’s a huge proportion!)
Well, here’s an organization that recognizes the positive role non-francophone partners can play in the Francophonie by inviting me, an Alberta anglophone, to sit on its Board of Directors.
So I tip my cowboy hat to the Foundation, and hope to contribute to its development by adding my voice as a francophile (or as an “associate member” of the Francophonie?) — with an Accent!
My spouse and I went skiing the other day. No big deal, right? Actually, we were gone for two days — two weekdays! And we left our girls at home to fend for themselves.
It was the second time this winter that we abandoned our children, the first time being a Wednesday in March. What a fantastic (if fleeting) feeling of freedom! We even witnessed this avalanche:
This is the first winter we’ve taken time off during the week, when our kids are at school, to escape the daily routine. But believe me, it won’t be the last!
Irresponsible? I don’t think so…
Now, you may be thinking it’s irresponsible of us to strap on the boards when we should be at home taking care of our littlies. And I’ll have to admit I did feel a slight twinge of guilt as we headed out of town. After all, it was a workday!
Why this cavalier attitude?
It must be a reaction to the fact that my role as a parent is evolving despite my best efforts. I’m having to face up to the fact that no longer am I indispensable to my kids… no longer do they jump into my arms when I come home… no longer do they hang on my every word, be it wise or otherwise (the latter becoming increasingly common, to judge from their reaction)…
Alas, I’m quickly morphing into a NEV.
That’s because my kids are 19 and 16. Which means they need food, a roof over their heads, transportation (ideally, in the form of car keys and a full tank) and, from time to time, cold hard cash. But our shining presence? Hah! They’re delighted when we leave the house and, as soon as we get back, they ask when we plan to leave again!
So what’s a NEV?
Thinking back, I realize that my spouse and I have been NEVs before, but only for short periods. This time, however, it’s different. Our role as parents is changing fundamentally.