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AFKO Presents: La Franco Fete

FrancoFête 2020 will take place in your home, in nature, on the Internet and on the radio with a concert by Shauit.

Nelson, June 11th, 2020

The Association des francophones des Kootenays Ouest (AFKO) has once again decided to play the card of originality to celebrate its FrancoFête 2020. It therefore invites the community of the West Kootenay to celebrate the cultural diversity of the French speaking world with activities where everyone can participate in their own way, according to their wishes and means, without necessarily being connected to the Internet.

The AFKO’s mission is to promote the French language and its cultures across its region. Founded in 1986, the association offers numerous opportunities for francophones and francophiles who wish to appreciate French-Canadian traditions. It also seeks to highlight the diversity of the French-speaking community shaped by Canada and the world. AFKO is proud to share this diversity of culture through its socio-cultural, community and educational activities.

Flashback : when Saint-Jean-Baptiste became FrancoFête.

I​n 2019, the great diversity of French speakers in the West Kootenay encouraged the association to renew itself and be more inclusive. The Saint-Jean-Baptiste event then took

the name of FrancoFête where each French speaking participant could identify with a proposed activity whether being from Canada or elsewhere in the world. French Canadian culture remains, of course, in the spotlight.

The first FrancoFête brought together 250 people in the pouring rain at Lakeside Park in Nelson. Young and old had fun with family and friends thanks to some sports (​pétanque a​ nd pocket games​)​, food (poutine competition), music (traditional and modern ​music, covers and original songs), and stilt walkers. Laura Vaché from France, who has been living in Nelson f​or 2 years, explains to us why she loves the FrancoFête: “I discovered French Canadian culture through music but in addition, I also had the opportunity to explain ​pétanque​ to an English speaking friend who accompanied me. It was perfect!”.

A Quebecer tells us that she appreciates the effort of inclusion: “I think that when people saw FêtedelaSaint-Jean-Baptiste,​ theymayhavethoughtthatitwasreservedexclusivelyfor French Canadians, and more particularly Quebecers because it is our national holiday. But finally, the more we are, the better it is to party! With the name FrancoFête, everyone feels welcome and that does not prevent Quebecers singing popular songs from Quebec and thinking about Saint-Jean-Baptiste! “.

In 2020, the FrancoFête is adapting itself to the crisis

“We don’t give up, we adapt, we reinvent!” says Amélie Sauquet, AFKO’s socio-cultural coordinator. The 2020 edition of the FrancoFête will therefore take place at home, in nature, on Internet and on the radio from Saturday, June 20th to Saturday, June 27th. Guests will be able to take part in photo and culinary challenges and they will be asked to share their photos on social networks. The bakeries Au Soleil Levant (Nelson), Hooper (Rossland) and La Baguette (Revelstoke) challenge people to make their own bread for the occasion. Participants will also be invited to take part in an online quiz but also to walk a wilderness route using a compass in the cities of Nelson, Rossland, Kaslo and Castlegar, with a surprise on arrival. Finally, the week of festivities will end with the Shauit concert on Saturday June 27. The live performance will be available online and on the community radio Kootenay Co-op Radio for the residents of Nelson, the northern part of Kootenay Lake, the lower part of the Slocan Valley and New Denver.

“Shauit is the first Innu reggae artist. He is from the Maliotenam reserve east of Sept-Îles in northeastern Quebec, and Montreal. His first language is French and he learned the Innu language later on in life, because he wanted to. At around 12 years old, when he discovered the very popular Kashtin group during the Innu Nikamu festival in Maliotenam, he decided to get closer to his native origins. His father bought him a guitar and he learned the Innu language to sing in his mother tongue and reconnect with his people ” (source www.pasamusik.com​).

The Association des francophones des Kootenays Ouest is pleased and proud to present this artist. Find information about FrancoFête by visiting ​www.afko.ca​.

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