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Francophone association membership doubles

Christine Grimard
Northern News Services
Published Wednesday, August 29, 2007

YELLOWKNIFE - The Association franco-culturelle de Yellowknife (AFCY) has more than doubled its membership this year, attracting all kinds of French-speakers to the group.

Membership in the association has gone from 50 in January 2007 to 105 this month, according to Caroline Langlais, cultural co-ordinator for the organization.

"Before we had a lot of Quebeckers," said Langlais, explaining the expansion. "We've been trying to attract all kinds of French."

One of those groups is what Langlais calls "Francophiles" - anyone who learned French as a second language.

The organization has been working on selling itself as a place for those people to practise their French.

The organization hosts social evenings every Thursday night. Langlais said there used to be just five or six people coming to those evenings, which now attract more than 20 people to Maison Laurent-Leroux on 48 Street.

The difference, said Langlais, is that the evening has become not only a place to meet other francophones, but an opportunity to practise speaking French. The group has been working to attract francophones outside of Quebec as well, including a group of Acadians.

Acadian celebrations were held for the first time in Yellowknife Aug. 15 at Fred Henne Park, organized by the AFCY. The group is planning a few other parties to attract new members.

They'll be holding a corn festival Sept. 15, an Octoberfest where they'll have a variety of different beers, and a concert Sept. 20 at the Monkey Tree by La Viree, an Acadian group.