“They call 50 years the Golden anniversary,
Nous célébrons aujourd’hui les cinquante ans,
To the pioneers and their vision,
To the partners and their collaborative efforts,
To the parents and their perserverance,
To the youth and their courage,
Nous levons notre verre et proclamons haut et fort,
A toast to French Immersion, Cheers, Santé and here’s
to a hundred and fifty more!”
On the morning of Wednesday April 4, 2016 CanaΓdian Parents for French and welcomed guests from across the country came together in celebration of the 50th anniversary of French Immersion in Canada.
The occasion, hosted and supported by the Honourable Mauril Bélanger., marked the opportunity to reflect on the positive impact French Immersion has had on many throughout the years.
In keeping with the theme of “A French Toast to 50 Years of French Immersion” guests were served a plentiful breakfast of fruit, French toast, and to top things off with a cheer sparkling juice in champagne flutes.
Several key speakers in attendance took the stage to mark the impact of French immersion in their personal lives and its effects on transforming Canadian society today. They acknowledged the efforts of the pioneers who made the program possible including Murielle Parkes and Olga Melikoff, two of the ‘founding mothers’ from the original parent delegation advocating for the experimental program in St. Lambert, Quebec in 1965. Among those who addressed the audience was Commissioner of Official Languages Graham Fraser, as well as Nancy Whyte McCauley one of the original students in the kindergarten class at St. Lambert’s Elementary. Testimonials were shared of French immersion graduates as part of the CPF project, Where are they now?
Keith Spicer, first Commissioner of Official Languages, sent his congratulations from Paris, France;
“The French immersion movement has transformed Canada, helping it become what it was always meant to be: A country that considers its two official languages as a treasure”
Also joining us for the festivities were Liberal Members of Parliament the Honourable Catherine McKenna and the Honourable Andrew Leslie both of which followed up by sharing their own thoughts on French Immersion and the morning’s events on Twitter.
This year’s CPF French Second Language Awareness Breakfast was deemed a great success by participants as it marked this important milestone acknowledging the impact of the French Immersion movement in Canada and solidified Canadian Parents for French’s place as a primary leader and advocate for French second language education across Canada.
Canadian Parents for French is the nationwide, research-informed, volunteer organization that champions the opportunity to learn and use French for all those who call Canada home. We represent over 26,000 members who believe in a Canada where French and English are an integral part of daily life.