Message from President
HELLO-BONJOUR ALBERTA !
" There's no French in Calgary. Is there ? "
How many times have we heard that! And how many times have we answered to Calgary born and raised Canadians and newcomers alike, “Yes of course there is français in Calgary!”
Or, as charming Saskatchewan born singer-songwriter-musician, Alexis Normand would say:
“ Ben ... OUI! ”
As a matter of fact, Calgary was born en français! Calgarians automatically speak English to each other so we (Francophones) follow suit, often without knowing that we could be speaking en français to each other. With family names like Klassen and Cao and Pincott and Sawyer, who would know that French language and culture are alive and well in Calgary, unless someone spreads the word? How do we do that? By creating as much meaningful dialogue and visibility and by providing as much information as possible, in any way that we can.
The Bureau de Visibilité de Calgary (BVC) was born this year, precisely to herald the fact that “we're here” (Francophones in Calgary) and we have been since 1872! Showcasing Calgary's Francophone history and accomplishments, its present day realities and bright future in the making, is our “raison d'être”, our mission, and we're having a great time doing that in so many positive and exciting ways !
The Calgary Centennial Stampede Parade Francophone community float in 2012 was a renewed historic and major accomplishment led by the Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta (ACFA) in Calgary. As of 2013, la Société Franco-Canadienne de Calgary (SFCC) with its roots dating back to 1888, once again heads this important community initiative, as they had in 1976.
Thanks to SHAW TV Calgary Community Access Programming and Franco-Fun Calgary Productions, 21 bilingual half-hour television episodes of HELLO-BONJOUR CALGARY were recorded and broadcast in 2013. Some of our guests included 2013 Stampede Royalty Queen and Princesses; Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump architect Robert LeBlond; Alberta born musician-singer-composer Crystal Plamondon, whose fiery music earned her the tittle of Alberta's Cajun Queen, to name only a few of so many other fascinating guests.
HELLO-BONJOUR CALGARY, a unique bilingual community volunteer initiative, is the only one of its kind in Canada. It has been so successful that in 2014, our program widens its scope to be called: HELLO-BONJOUR ALBERTA! « Parlez-vous ... ? » Alberta Francophone and Francophile personalities and community leaders share their stories, in English & en français! So stay tuned !
Watch for BVC community initiatives soon at Heritage Park Historical Village and on December 5th 2013 at Restaurant La Chaumière (Rouleauville), we are very excited to launch the Fonds Bureau de Visibilité de Calgary/Suzanne de Courville Nicol Endowment Fund in support of Calgary Francophone and Francophile community endeavours focused on leadership by young entrepreneurs, educational projects, sports and cultural activities as well as seniors' initiatives.
Our grand finale for 2013 is this bilingual, HELLO-BONJOUR CALGARY community calendar featuring in-studio photos of the 21 television episodes, our Calgary Stampede Parade floats and various other special events and activities organized throughout the year.
How many times have you heard : “I wish I could speak French!” ? More often than you can remember I'm sure. “But we're in the West, we don't need to know French!” some will argue.
Really? Think again.
900,000,000 speak Français worldwide! 238,000 speak Français in Alberta including 98,000 in Calgary and surrounding areas and those numbers keep growing!
Live local, think global!
Be sure to log on to www.ourlanguages.gc.ca
THE LANGUAGE PORTAL OF CANADA AND DISCOVER HOW SPEAKING FRENCH HAS NEVER BEEN SO PROFITABLE!
The gift of the French language and culture is yours for the taking and to give to your children. It's never too late to start. French is Canada's other official language. If French is not your mother tongue and you would like to know more, check out Canadian Parents for French Alberta at www.cpfalta.ab.ca and tap into the wealth of resources for you and your children.
Connect with Justin Morrow, founding president of Canadian youth for French www.youthforfrench.ca and motivational speaker. his story will astound you! The more visibility and support we can achieve together as ordinary everyday Canadians for French everywhere across the country, the more we will all benefit from a strong, prosperous and welcoming Canada.
A VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OUR VOLUNTEERS AND IN PARTICULAR, TO THE FOUNDING MEMBERS OF THE BUREAU DE VISIBILITÉ DE CALGARY