Ottawa – Mayor Jim Watson hosted members of Ottawa’s francophone community this morning at City Hall for the 10th Annual Francophone Rendezvous with the Mayor.
“I’m pleased to host this annual event, which brings together the City with Francophone and Francophile leaders to discuss issues at the heart of our community,” said Mayor Watson. “This is also an opportunity for us to recognize new members of our Francophone community, and I was pleased that we could acknowledge its diversity by welcoming French-speaking Syrian families this morning.”
“The annual gathering also allows the City to highlight the quality of its services offered in French and its support of projects that benefit the francophone community, such as important investments in the renovation and rehabilitation of the performing arts centre La Nouvelle Scène, which has recently reopened, as well as la Maison de la francophonie d’Ottawa, which will serve a growing community in the west of Ottawa.”
Joining Mayor Watson to speak about contributions from Ottawa’s francophone community were the Honourable Madeleine Meilleur, M.P.P., Attorney General and Minister Responsible for Francophone Affairs of Ontario; Rideau-Vanier Councillor Mathieu Fleury, whose Ward is home to the Vanier Museopark; and Mrs. Gisèle Richer, co-chair of the Vanier Museopark and recipient of the Order of Ottawa.
“The Government of Ontario recognizes that the Franco-Ontarian community is part of the history, the achievements and the future of our province and that the Francophonie has been one of our most beautiful collective projects undertaken together for many years. This is the Month of La Francophonie, and the Mayor’s Breakfast gives us an excellent opportunity to celebrate and develop the francophone culture in all its diversity,” said Minister Meilleur.
The Rendezvous celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Vanier Museopark, which proudly preserves the heritage of Quartier Vanier and Richelieu Park for present and future generations of Ottawa’s francophone community. Vanier Museopark also provided the opportunity for newly established Syrian refugee families to delight in their very first maple taffy on snow experience.
The Vanier Museopark is the only francophone museum in Ottawa and one of only a few Canadian museums outside of Québec dedicated to the French-speaking community. It operates a fully functioning maple sugar shack in the heart of Vanier every spring. This year’s Sugarfest will take place from March 30 to April 3.