Celebrate French culture and heritage March 8-11th in Victoria BC with free events for children, circus workshops, a sugar shack, artisans marketplace, performances and more! Centennial Square is the site of the 15th annual Victoria French Fest. (Complete program guide -in French and English here). Most free events take place noon – 4pm in the Square.
People are often amazed at the number of Francophones and Francophiles in the Capital Region (Victoria BC). They are equally astonished that there are native franco-colombiens (someone born in BC who identifies as Francophone). I am one, as are my children.
The Société Francophone de Victoria (Victoria Francophone Society) works hard to promote French language and culture. So do a myriad of groups, including educational institutions like École Victor-Brodeur, the University of Victoria and the venerable Alliance Française, not to forget the many immersion programs in local schools.
Did you know that in the beginnings of Fort Victoria francophones were among some of the very first settlers? L’Association Historique Francophone de Victoria offers tours, including St Ann’s Academy, that highlight this connection.
Some of the many Francophone groups and services in Victoria include:
École Victor-Brodeur (a K-12 school with over 500 students)
The burgeoning community radio CILS FM at 107.9
The long-standing traditional dance troupe Les Cournouillers (see the video below)
A centre of continuing education, Éducacentre with courses in French, and for people who want to improve their French.
Réseau Femmes de la C-B (Women’s network) offering workshops, get-togethers and events.
Scouts francophones/Francophone scouts (for boys and girls)
Conseil Jeunesse de la Colombie – Britannique (Francophone Youth Council)
Paroisse St Jean Baptiste (Francophone Roman Catholic parish, established in the 1950s)
L’Agraff (l’Association des gens retraités et aînés francophones -Francophone seniors)
La Société de Développement Économique de la Colombie-Brittanique (Economic Development)
Garderie Saut-Mouton (day care)
L’Association Historique Francophone de Victoria people passionate about exploring the Francophone historical connections.
Canadian Parents for French (parents of children in immersion)
Whether you are Francophone or Francophile (someone who is fond of, or admires, French) there is a group or organization for you. Don’t hesitate to get involved.