Often mistaken for the French version of the Yukon Sourdough Rendezvous Festival, Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF), from March 3rd to 23rd, is a national initiative lead by the Canadian Foundation for Cross-Cultural Dialogue.

The RVF is an event surrounding the Journée Internationale de la Francophonie (March 20), which is organized every year around the world to promote the French language and its numerous cultural expressions.

For the next three years the RFV has set a theme of diversity, dynamism, and duality. Here in the Yukon, the Association franco-Yukonnaise (l’AFY) is coordinating the events to explore this theme.

For the theme “diversity,” l’AFY is focusing on Indigenous peoples hosting the first explorers and newcomers and the desire to build a better life together. For the theme “duality,” l’AFY is looking at the historic agreement to support linguistic duality as a part of what makes Canada unique. For the theme “dynamism,” l’AFY is focusing on the Francophone and Acadian communities across the country to demonstrate innovation and imagination to energize our economy and culture.

Here is a sample of the events during this two week period will celebrate French language and culture.

Film

For the past 11 years the National Film Board of Canada (NFB) has taken part in the Rendez‐vous de la francophonie festivities. This year they have prepared three films for the initiative. One of the three films is La Francophonie in 3D, which captures the essence of today’s francophone and Acadian communities.

If you want to watch movies in French, this is a great opportunity and it’s free.

Swimming

An event called Swimming in French! is hosted by the Canada Games Centre and organized by Partenariat communauté en Santé. You can swim for free betweem 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. if you say a few words in French at the entrance desk. For example, saying “Bonjour je veux aller nager dans la piscine aujourd’hui” will get you swimming for free!

Sing Song

“Chant-la ta chanson” has been organized by Danielle Bonneau and the Yukon Department of Education. It will take place at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre from 12.30 p.m. to 2 p.m on March 3. Students from Kindergarten to Grade 7 from participating schools will perform songs in French. The purpose is to celebrate French Second Language learning (FSL) and give students a chance to perform in French for their follow students. It also gives parents the opportunity to see how much their children have learned.

Sugar Shack

The Association franco-yukonnaise is hosting The Sweet Tooth Sugar Shack in Dawson City, on March 14th and 15th. A sugar shack is one of the oldest French Canadian traditions. For a good time with family and friends, don’t miss this opportunity to indulge your sweet tooth with their famous maple taffy on snow and other maple goodies.

Canada stands apart from other countries in its shared values in French and English cultures. As Canadians we have the opportunity to speak two languages and be a part of two cultures. Through events like these we can learn about our Canadian comrades through fun and thought provoking events. These are excellent opportunities to learn a little French or practice that rusty French you learned in high school, and see the rich culture that the francophones in Canada have.

For more information about Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie go to afy.yk.ca.