In my opinion, we should be celebrating the Francophonie every day of the year. Les Rendez-vous de la francophonie is a fine example of what the public broadcaster can accomplish with Canada’s Francophones and Francophiles. Unifying Francophones across the country via programming that tells their stories and gives them a voice is an integral part of our mandate.
With that in mind, we’re again playing a role in Les Rendez-vous de la francophonie, a celebration of the French language and Francophone culture to be held this year from March 7 to 23.
For Radio-Canada, Les Rendez-vous is a golden opportunity to showcase various initiatives that aim to keep French-Canadian culture alive and kicking. Our involvement is also part of a larger programming strategy focused on proximity and regional roots – two key priorities in CBC/Radio-Canada’s five-year plan Everyone, Every way.
Here are a few examples:
- In fall 2013, we began providing a news presence seven days a week right across the country. This multiplatform service was then further enhanced by such initiatives as regional radio renewal, and added coverage of regional realities in our network programming.
- As part of our role in Les Rendez-vous de la francophonie, we’ve collaborated for several years now with the Association canadienne d’éducation de langue française on the Histoires collectives (in French only) project – an exciting group writing contest open to primary and secondary students across Canada.
- The 14th annual Prix des lecteurs Radio-Canada (in French only) is a literary competition promoting French-language books published outside Quebec in the West, the Territories, Ontario and Atlantic Canada. The contest kicks off on March 20, 2014, live before a studio audience on our national radio show Plus on est de fous, plus on lit (in French only). Tune in on TV or the web for the April 30 grand finale on Pénélope McQuade (in French only).
- We’ll also have special coverage and programming to honour the 5th World Acadian Congress. CMA 2014 will be held from August to 8 to 24 in three northwest New Brunswick counties, Quebec’s Témiscouata County, and the US state of Maine.
I’ve only included a few examples for you, but they clearly demonstrate Radio-Canada’s desire to contribute to the development and promotion of Francophone culture from sea to sea to sea, through programming that Francophones identify with and see themselves reflected in.
- Louis Lalande, Executive Vice-President, CBC/Radio-Canada French Services