Francophones fly flag

Paul Bickford/NNSL photo
Students from Ecole Boreale carry the francophone flag of the NWT to a special flag-raising ceremony on March 17.

Students from Ecole Boreale marched downtown on March 17 to deliver the francophone flag of the NWT for a special ceremony.

The Association franco-culturelle de Hay River organized a raising of the flag on the flagpole between the old town hall and the library in honour of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, a national celebration of the French language from March 2 to 22.

The flag was raised by RCMP Sgt. Philippe Cyr with the assistance of Mayor Brad Mapes.

The Rendez-vous de la Francophonie is part of the events surrounding the Journée Internationale de la Francophonie (International Francophonie Day) on March 20, which is organized every year around the world to promote the French language and culture.

Across Canada, there will be hundreds of community gatherings, multicultural meetings, ceremonies, shows, theatre, poetry, film viewings, word games, contests, educational activities and other events.

After the flag-raising ceremony, the students headed back to Ecole Boreale for a tasting of maple taffy on the snow.

Edith Vachon-Raymond, an education assistant at Ecole Boreale, explained the flag-raising took place on March 17 because the students will be on spring break on Journée Internationale de la Francophonie.

“So we did it on the last day before the spring break,” she said. “It was a walk just to show the strength of the French community, and we invited everybody.”

Vachon-Raymond noted March is a time for a national celebration of the French language all across Canada.

The francophone flag of the NWT will fly for the remainder of March in Hay River.

The flag features a polar bear, a snowflake and a fleur-de-lys.

-Paul Bickford