Over a hundred people attended the inaugural Benefit Evening for the Georges A. Ares Endowment Fund, organized by the French Canadian Association of Alberta (ACFA) and held at the Alberta Art Gallery in Edmonton, April 9.
The event also paid tribute to a number of individuals for their political leadership in the Albertan francophone community. Those honored were Camille Bérubé, Mayor of Beaumont, Randy Boissonnault, MP for Edmonton Centre and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Heritage, Senator Claudette Tardif and Hector Goudreau of Falher, former MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley.
Goudreau spent 14 years in provincial politics as a member of the Progressive Conservatives. In late 2006, under Premier Ed Stelmach, Goudreau became Minister of Tourism, Parks, Recreation and Culture and among other appiontments also served as deputy Government House Leader and Rural Caucus Chair. Hector Goudreau retired from politics prior to the provincial election in May 2015.
In recognition of their contribution to the Albertan francophone community, the four honorees were presented with a medal created by Francophone Albertan artist Herman Poulin.
ACFA also awarded two $500 scholarships to students planning to study leadership policy and related disciplines. The students to receive the scholarships are Amy Vachon-Pomerleau and Thomas Chabot.
The evening that had a black and white theme with all guests dressed accordingly also provided musical performances and motivational stories.
Among those who performed were Gabrielle Després who among other distinctions was winner of the Northern Alberta Concerto Competition performing as soloist with the Edmonton Youth Orchestra. Gabrielle’s father Jacques Després, and bilingual rhythm and blues musician Karimah also performed.
Georges Ares in whose honor the endowment fund is named was present. Ares, former chair of French Canadian Association of Alberta and the Federation of Francophone and Acadian communities, is a member of the Order of Canada.
The event raised $15,225 bringing the Georges A. Ares Endowment Fund to almost $32,000, exceeding the target of $30,000.
President Jean Johnson said the funds allow the ACFA to begin awarding scholarships to young people to help them realize their aspirations of political leadership and ultimately giving them the opportunity to benefit the francophone community.
ACFA will hold the Georges A. Ares Endowment Fund Benefit again in spring 2018.