The eleventh Franco-Albertan flag-raising ceremony, marking the beginning of the Rendez-Vous de la Francophonie (RVF) took place at École Héritage in Falher on Friday March 1.
The flag raising ceremony usually takes place on the first Friday of the month to coincide with the beginning of the RVF.
The RVF is a Canada-wide, Francophone celebration that takes place annually throughout March and usually begins with the flag raising ceremony.
With the support of the French Canadian Association of Alberta (ACFA), communities across Alberta are encouraged to organize activities and celebrate their local Francophone culture during the RVF.
This year’s guest speakers included Sylvianne Maisonneuve, president of the Accueil du Conseil scolaire du Nord-Ouest (CSNO), Isabelle Caron (CAFE Nord-Ouest), Minister Marg McCuaig-Boyd and James Bell (Town of Falher).
Members of the RCMP and the Smoky River Fire Department also attended the ceremony.
The students sang “O Canada” led by Grade 10 student Alexanne Fillion. Isabelle Nicolet-Thibault, Brooke Lambert, Nadia Lavoie and Mia Maisonneuve sang Le Coeur fait sa maison (The Heart Makes Its Home).
Some Grade 4, 5 and 6 Routhier French immersion students spoke about their pride in the French language and G.P. Vanier Grades 10 and 11 presented a video illustrating their shared pride in the French language.
Like École Héritage and Routhier Schools numerous other French and French immersion schools in approximately 25 regions across the province also participate annually in the RVF,.
Under the banner, “The sky will be blue, white and pink!” the ceremony celebrates the past and current contributions of a dynamic Francophone- Albertan society with roots throughout the province.
Since 2009, ACFA has organized the annual Franco-Albertan flag raising ceremonies across the province, to coincide with the opening of Rendez-vous de la Francophonie.
École Héritage schedules many activities, games and contests for the RVF, taking place through March until spring break.
The flag raising ceremony is an important event that celebrates the Franco-Albertan identity, its enduring sense of community and strong cultural affiliation with this province.
The Franco-Albertan flag, designed by Jean-Pierre Grenier, was adopted by the ACFA in 1982. The flag is blue, white and red, with a white fleur-de-lys in the upper left corner signifying the Francophone community and a wild, red rose in the lower right corner signifying the province of Alberta.
Founded in 1926, the ACFA is the official voice of the Alberta’s French-speaking society and is an organization of increasing cultural significance as the Francophone communities in the province grow. The ACFA’s mission is to foster the development of Alberta’s Francophone communities.