French for the Future's 15th Anniversary!
Published by French for the Future on 20 April 2012
It was an evening of celebration which took place on April 19th at Glendon Hall of York University's Glendon College to mark French for the Future's 15th anniversary. Founded in 1997, French for the Future originated from an idea by John Ralston Saul and the hard work and commitment of Lisa Balfour Bowen, who organized a 2-day conference on the advantages of being bilingual and speaking French in Canada. The conference was called "French for the Future, Le français pour l'avenir" and gathered 200 students from 8 high schools in the Toronto region.
The conference proved a success, and over the years, started to be organized in cities across the country. These conferences, now called "Local Forums", are organized annually in over a dozen cities across Canada. This spring, Local Forums are being held in Edmonton, Montreal, Calgary, Winnipeg, Halifax, Vancouver, Fredericton, St. John’s, Moncton and Ottawa, reaching more than a thousand students, and will be hosted in other cities this coming fall.
Since its foundation, French for the Future has evolved considerably and now offers four main programs: Local Forums, the National Essay Contest, the National Ambassador Youth Forum, and its newest program: Franconnexion Sessions.
The celebratory dinner was an occasion to look back on French for the Future's achievements and to thank those who have made it all possible, as well as some of its earliest collaborators, including Kathleen Freeman, George Smitherman, Kenneth McRoberts and Andrea Alexander. Presided by Aleksandra Damjan, a 2009 French for the Future Ambassador, approximately 75 guests attended the event, representing Francophone and Francophile communities across the country.
The evening proceeded with guests having the chance to hear the personal and touching testimonial of Ms. Fana Seife, a participant of French for the Future's first-ever conference in 1997, who spoke of the impact that this event has had on her life.
Here are a few pictures of the event:
Quelques personnes clés dans la fondation du Français pour l'avenir.
De gauche à droite: Paul Leclerc, Kathleen Freeman, George Smitherman, Lisa Balfour Bowen, Kenneth McRoberts, Andrea Alexander, David Clark, Eva Krangle, Heather McCallum et Chantal Gionet.
Aleksandra Damjan, ambassadrice du Français pour l'avenir de 2009 et maître de cérémonie
Aleksandra Damjan et Michael Salvatori, registraire et chef de la direction de l'Ordre des enseignantes et enseignants de l'Ontario
Lisa Balfour Bowen, présidente fondatrice
Hughie Batherson, membre du conseil d'administration et vice-recteur aux affaires étudiantes de l'Université Sainte-Anne, Guy Matte de La fondation canadienne pour le dialogue des cultures, et Denis Fontaine, de Campus Saint-Jean de l'Université de l'Alberta.
Suzanne O'Connell, coordonnatrice nationale du Français pour l'avenir de 2001 à 2003 et Ronan MacParland, membre du conseil d'administration
Fana Seife, participante à la première conférence du Français pour l'avenir, et Lisa Balfour Bowen.