Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages

March 20, 2008 08:30 ET

Commissioner of Official Languages/The Francophonie: A Source of Pride for all Canadians

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - March 20, 2008) - Today, on the Journee internationale de la Francophonie, Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages, invites all Canadians to join the 175 million Francophones from 55 states and governments to celebrate the French language.

March 20 is particularly special this year, the year in which we celebrate the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec City and the French presence in North America. "This is a very important milestone for the entire country because the founding of Quebec City is a significant event in Canada's history and in that of the Canadian Francophonie," said Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages.

"The Canadian Francophonie, like our two official languages, is everybody's business," said the Commissioner. "Francophonie celebrations provide an opportunity to highlight the important contribution of French Canadians to our culture and our diversity."

With more than 9.5 million people who speak French in this country, there is no shortage of opportunities to celebrate the Francophonie. It's as easy as participating in activities organized by a Francophone organization, watching French Canadian films, registering to take a French course, speaking French with friends, or simply taking an interest in the history and culture of Francophones in Canada.

According to Mr. Fraser, "The Canadian Francophonie is a source of pride at the regional, national and international levels. Knowledge of our two official languages enables us to communicate with people from over 75 countries. There are many benefits to speaking two languages from an economic, political and cultural perspective."

A number of events will provide amazing opportunities to introduce the Canadian Francophonie to the rest of the world, including the 400th anniversary of Quebec City; the 12th Sommet de la Francophonie, which will be held in Quebec City in October 2008; and the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver. It will be critical to ensure that these festivities, in accordance with the mandate of the Government of Canada, are a true testament to our linguistic duality and reflect the vitality of English-speaking and French-speaking communities.

This press release, along with some Quick Facts on Canada's Francophonie, are available on our Web site at:

Contact Information

  • Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
    Robin Cantin, Manager, Media Relations
    Cellular: 613-996-6368 or Toll free: 1-877-996-6368