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Government highlights investments in Francophone projects

Image Credit: Flickr

KELOWNA - Today, Minister of Agriculture Norm Letnick, whose responsibilities include francophone affairs, officially unveiled one of many heritage sites to receive funding to increase the visibility and promote B.C.'s rich Francophone heritage.

Funding was provided under the 2013-18 Canada-British Columbia Official Language Agreement on French Language Services, to the Father Pandosy Mission Society and went toward the translation of promotional material for the Father Pandosy mission heritage site and the installation of bilingual site signage. This investment builds on the more than $170,000 that has been provided to heritage sites throughout the province.

Thanks to the agreement, the provincial and federal governments have improved access to programs and services for French-speaking British Columbians and it has enhanced the capacity of the Province to deliver services in French. The primary purpose of the bilingual signage is to increase the French presence on the Father Pandosy Mission Site.

We expect this enhancement to increase the number of visitors, from all cultures, and provide them the opportunity to appreciate the historical impact of Father Pandosy and the French community in the development of the original settlement. Through the agreement, we are enabling the Francophone community to increase its visibility and promote its cultural, artistic and linguistic heritage.

The Province recently attended the Ministerial Conference on the Canadian Francophonie, which strives, among other objectives, to strengthen intergovernmental co-operation on francophone issues to promote further usage and greater visibility of the French culture and language throughout Canada.


Norm Letnick, Minister of Agriculture -

"Province recognizes that Francophones and Francophiles have made valuable contributions to our province's economic, cultural and social fabric. Sharing the history of the Father Pandosy Mission and other heritage sites in B.C. in our country's other official language opens up more of this province's rich history for people to enjoy and to enrich themselves."

Patrick Walls, president of the Pandosy Mission Committee -

"The Father Pandosy Mission Committee worked collaboratively with local and Provincial representatives, to jointly fund the transition to bilingual English-French signage on the site of Kelowna's cultural heritage gem, the  Father Pandosy Mission and Pioneer Museum site. These changes will make the site more user-friendly for the Francophone tourist and local community visitors, and will place the mission in the spotlight of a broader national and international world tourism stage. This project has given long-overdue recognition to the cultural roots of the mission founder, Farther Jean-Charles Pandosy and the significant contribution of French-speaking settlers to the development and history of the region."

Padminee Chundunsing, president of the Federation of Francophones in British Columbia -

"As president of the Federation of Francophones in British Columbia, the organization that works daily to promote the Francophonie in British Columbia, I welcome the enhancement of the French cultural heritage with the establishment of French signage on heritage sites across the province. This initiative is a great way to discover the history of Father Pandosy Mission, while promoting linguistic duality, which is a real wealth for the province."

Quick Facts:

* Since the first Canada-B.C. co-operation agreement was signed in 2001, joint-funding contributed to grow the economy by allowing economic partnerships with small businesses, supporting the Province's tourism strategy, facilitating the translation of resources for families and partnering with municipalities to provide French books to libraries.

* Currently, all 10 provinces and three territories have multi-year, co-operation agreements with the Government of Canada to improve and promote services in Canada's official languages.

* There are more than 290,000 French speaking citizens in B.C., with more than 40 francophone associations and organizations actively representing the francophone language and culture in the province.

News from © iNFOnews, 2016

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