Today is a special day for Ottawa’s, and Ontario’s, francophone community. It is Franco-Ontarian Day and the date was chosen for special reasons.
The Province of Ontario chose the celebration date to recognize the Franco-Ontarian flag. The green and white flag, created by Gaétan Gervais, a history professor, and Michel Dupuis, a first-year political science student, both from Laurentian University, was first raised on September 25, 1975.
The Province officially declared September 25 as the annual date for Franco-Ontarian Day in 2010, which marked the 400th anniversary of Francophones in Ontario. What’s more, Ontario’s Francophone community is impressive. According to the 2011 census data from Stats Canada, almost 500,000 Ontarians identify as francophone, a total second only to Quebec in Canada.
Almost 14 per cent of Ottawans identify as Francophones and the Day allows all of us to reflect on their contributions to the cultural, social, economic, historic and political fabric of Ottawa.
Happy Franco-Ontarian Day!