Minister of State Valcourt Launches Francophonie Week in Boston

March 10, 2012 - As part of international Francophonie month, the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie), launched Francophonie Week yesterday at an opening reception in Boston before more than 50 members of New England’s diplomatic and business community.

“Our government is proud of Canada’s bilingual character and cultural diversity,” said Minister Valcourt. “And I am always happy to highlight the importance of the French language wherever I go as a way to promote this language, which is such an integral part of our cultural heritage.”

Minister Valcourt also took the opportunity to invite the diplomatic community to the World Acadian Congress to be held in northwestern New Brunswick in August 2014.

“La Francophonie provides a vast network that links all of the world’s francophones and francophiles, including those here in the United States, where some 2.1 million people say they speak French at home,” said the Minister. “I would hereby like to wish them a wonderful Francophonie Week.”

New England is home to many descendants of French Canadians who still go by their ancestral French names. It is estimated that at least 1 million French Canadians emigrated to the United States in the 19th century.

- 30 -

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Andréa Richer
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of State (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) (La Francophonie)

Foreign Affairs Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @DFAIT_MAECI