Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue
From March 7 to 23, 2014, to mark the 16th edition of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF), the RVF bird flew clear across the country. Francophones, Acadians and francophiles from every culture clearly demonstrated their colours and their vitality as they celebrated their Joie de vivre the French way from coast to coast. The 2014 edition of the RVF included more than 1,800 activities and events, among them 370 National Film Board of Canada screenings in approximately 100 cities. This is the largest number of activities ever reported, a fact that provides a strong indication of the dynamism of Canada’s Francophone and Acadian communities right across Canada.
Guy Matte, Executive Director of the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue, who is responsible for the RVF, was more than satisfied with this 16th edition:
We sense a growing interest in this campaign to promote the French fact, linguistic duality and dialogue among the various components of Canadian society. Once again, we managed to arouse the interest of all the communities, including the Anglophone ones, all of which took part in record numbers this year in everything from the activities to the different contests.
In the words of writer-composer-performer Damien Robitaille, spokesperson for the 16th edition, “The Rendez-vous de la Francophonie is like a railroad: it helps draw our communities together on the same track, towards the same goal, which is to join in celebrating Canada’s Francophonie!”
At the national level, the RVF team renewed its partnership with Just for Laughs and, for the second year in a row, organized a pan-Canadian comedy gala tour. Hosted by rising star Jérémy Demay, this gala featured a lineup of French-Canadian comedians who managed to share their tremendous joie de vivre with the different communities they visited. The Gala Juste pour rire des Rendez-vous de la Francophonie tour travelled through six Canadian provinces (New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, Alberta, British Columbia and Ontario) and stopped in more than a dozen cities.
The RVF 2014 theme, La Joie de vivre the French way,set the tone for the students at the École nationale de l’humour, who produced 12 comedy skits for the Drôles de Rendez-vous (www) contest. From March 7 to 23, there were close to 13,000 hits on the RVF website. In the end, it was La Crise, produced by Andréanne Marchand and her team, that won the popular vote.
For this 16th edition, the RVF ran several contests for the public at large, boosting participation by 100%. Thanks to all of the participants, and congratulations to the winners:
On March 19, the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue, together with the Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne (AUFC), held the Grand rendez-vous des francophonies canadiennes. This videoconference broke through the barriers of geographic distance by bringing together nine Francophone universities from every corner of the country through social networks and the TFO 24.7 website. Mr. Matte was proud of this first Grand rendez-vous:
With today’s technology, distance is no longer an obstacle to bringing our communities together around a major national event. We were able to showcase the talents of the new generation by providing cultural programs from across Canada, which made for a memorable experience for everyone.
The RVF is an initiative of the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue. It is made possible thanks to the contributions of its many partners and sponsors: Canadian Heritage, the Secrétariat aux affaires intergouvernementales canadiennes du Québec, Air Canada, the Groupe Juste pour rire, NAV Canada, the National Film Board, the Association canadienne d’éducation de langue française (ACELF), Ontario’s Office des affaires francophones, La Cité, the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques, the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens, the Fédération de la jeunesse canadienne-française, Parks Canada, Canada Post, VIA Rail, the Fédération des communautés francophones et acadienne (FCFA), the University of Ottawa, the Consortium national de formation en santé, the Language Portal of Canada, the Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique, the Manitoba Francophone Affairs Secretariat, RDÉE Canada, TFO, TV5 and the Association des universités de la francophonie canadienne. A special thank-you to the organizations that represented the RVF, to the provincial and territorial coordinators, and to the promoters in Quebec.
The next edition of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie will run from March 6 to 22, 2015.