Ottawa – On behalf of Mayor Jim Watson, Deputy Mayor Bob Monette welcomed Ottawa’s Francophone community to Ottawa City Hall this morning to celebrate the 9th Annual Francophone Rendez-vous with the Mayor.
The Francophone Rendez-vous with the Mayor provides an occasion for City and Francophone leaders to come together to discuss issues of importance within the community, and serves to acknowledge the International Day of Francophonie and the Rendez-vous de la francophonie internationale. It is also an opportunity for the City of Ottawa to highlight the Francophone municipal accomplishments and services to the community.
“This annual event not only brings Francophones and Francophiles together; it also allows participants to engage, discuss and influence the future and direction of Ottawa’s vibrant Francophone community,” said Deputy Mayor Monette.
In the last Budget, Council approved funding for a number of francophone initiatives, one of which was an additional $1 million for La Nouvelle Scène reconstruction project.
During this morning’s reception, the Centre multiservice francophone de l’Ouest d’Ottawa (CMFO) announced that it will be rebranding itself as La Maison de la Francophonie and launching a fundraising campaign for the Centre.
La Maison de la Francophonie, which is expected to open later this year, will provide a recreational, educational and cultural meeting place for the over 28,000 Francophones who reside west of Bronson Avenue, as well as the 37 per cent of residents in the area who are bilingual.
The City has contributed $2 million to this project by donating the former Grant School to house the CMFO.
Today’s event is also an opportunity to recognize the City’s engagement towards improving its service delivery to the Francophone community. This year, the City has increased its French recreational offerings with more summer camps, swimming lessons, preschool programs, arts, culture, and general interest classes throughout the city including at the new Minto Recreation Complex in Barrhaven. Leadership programs for Francophone youth will be added this summer at the Ray Friel Recreation Centre in Ottawa east, the Sandy Hill Community Centre and at the Castlefrank Elementary School in the west.
In addition, the City partners with the MIFO (Mouvement d'Implication Francophone d'Orléans), Le Patro d’Ottawa, and the Centre Communautaire Franc-Ouest, which provide quality French-language programs that complement the City’s offerings.
The Ottawa Public Library continues to expand its French-language services with over 500 digital books available, digital book reviews through Zinio, and Chromebooks available at 33 branches for residents who do not have digital reading devices. The Beaverbrook and Nepean Centrepointe branches also provide genealogy and business reference material in French, and the Beaverbrook branch has expanded its services to include lectures for adults, a conversation group, and visits from Francophone schoolchildren.
For more information about the City’s French Language Services and Bilingualism Policy, visit ottawa.ca.
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