Franco-Ontarian Day, celebrated officially for the third time, coincides with the anniversary of the Franco-Ontarian flag, flown for the first time in Sudbury in 1975.
More than 2,200 elementary and secondary students from 13 Conseil scolaire catholique du Nouvel-Ontario (CSCNO) schools will gather at Place Bonaventure at 10 a.m. that day for a celebration.
Wearing green and white clothing and waving Franco-Ontarian flags and school banners, participants will march through the streets of Chelmsford.
This animated march (tintamarre) will be followed by a concert featuring Stef Paquette and Ami Allain, a variety of activities and a barbecue. The celebration will conclude at 1:15 p.m.
The French Immersion students at St. Charles Catholic Elementary School in Chelmsford will also be celebrating Franco-Ontarian Day.
Students from grade 7 and 8 French Immersion class at St. Charles elementary school will be parading around Chelmsford, handing out flags and flag necklaces to French speaking employees in local businesses.
The students surveyed all the businesses before the event to find out how many Francophone employees each one employed. Once they had the numbers, they started to make the necklaces, which are Franco-Ontarian flags with the words 'Je parle Francais' superimposed on top of it.
The goal of this campaign is to help French language learners feel comfortable speaking French in their community. If a French speaking costumer presents himself, or herself, to a clerk who is wearing a flag necklace, he or she will know right away that it is OK to start speaking to that employee in French. It alleviates the guess work of knowing who speaks French and who doesn't in local businesses.
Although this will make it easier for all Francophones to speak French in local stores, the main goal of the class is to encourage French Immersion students who might not otherwise attempt to use their second language skills.
The necklaces and flags will also be delivered to businesses in the neighbouring communities of Azilda, Dowling, Onaping and Levack.