|NWSS French Immersion Students Attend Conférence en Français 2010|
(Mr. Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada, 2010 recipient of the Baldwin-Lafontaine Award/Le prix Baldwin-Lafontaine with New Westminster Secondary School Late French Immersion students. From left: Johanna Withers, Jaycee Clarkson, Kayley McLeod, Summer Roddick, Jessica Croy and Rhianne Ferdinandi).
April 19, 2010
Six Late French Immersion students from New Westminster Secondary School were very fortunate to attend the 8th Annual Conférence en Français hosted by The Canadian Club of Vancouver on April 15 at The Four Seasons Hotel in Vancouver. Canadian Parents for French BC/Yukon sponsored about 35 French Second Language students from the Lower Mainland. Over 300 people attended the luncheon including representatives from all the organizations that support French in BC! The NWSS students sat with the reps from Radio-Canada and Théâtre de la Seizième, the only francophone professional theatre company in British Columbia, and who will be performing a French Play for all Gr 8 - 12 French Immersion classes in New Westminster on April 27 at Massey Theatre. CPF-New Westminster is partially sponsoring the play.
The Canadian Club of Vancouver has been organizing this Conference conducted entirely in French, in recognition of Canada and its two official language communities. This year featured guest speaker, Mrs. Phyllis Lambert, well known Canadian Architect and Philantropist. Mr. Graham Fraser, Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada, addressed the group and received the Baldwin-Lafontaine Award/Le prix Baldwin-Lafontaine. This award is designed to honour organizations and/or individuals for their contributions to the preservation and promotion of the French language and culture in British Columbia. Unique to the Club, the Award commemorates the alliance of two statesmen, Robert Baldwin and Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, which led to the establishment of Canada’s democratic system. To be eligible for this honour, nominees will have demonstrated, among other things, a commitment to bilingualism as well as undertaken projects or activities which bring together Anglophones and Francophones.
The Club exists today, as it has for a century, to promote Canadian identity and foster Canadian unity. It encourages knowledge of Canada’s own history, honours native talent in the arts, sciences, business and public affairs, and fosters patriotic sentiment.
One of the unique characteristics of the Club is its strong association with students and educational institutions at secondary and tertiary levels. It is actively involved in sponsorship of secondary-school students’ attendance at Club functions and of awards recognizing their achievements in various areas. One of the annual student awards is Le Prix Trudeau. The Club awards this monetary prize to a deserving Grade 12 winner of the Concours d’arts oratoire – category French Language Immersion Programme. The Concours d’arts oratoire is a Province-wide public-speaking contest organized by CPF-BC/Yukon that takes place in French at a university or college in the Lower Mainland. This year the contest is taking place at the SFU Surrey Campus on May 8 and winners from the New West School District will be competing.