Press Release: Journée des Franco-Ontariens 2017


Thunder Bay – On Monday, the Coopérative du regroupement des organismes francophones de Thunder Bay (ROFTB Inc.) welcomed close to a thousand members of the city’s Francophone and Francophile community at 234 Van Norman Street for Franco-Ontarian Day.

Thanks to a partnership between the ROFTB Inc. and the Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boréales, students from École secondaire catholique de La Vérendrye, École catholique Franco Supérieur and the city’s immersion schools attended a Franco-Ontarian flag-raising ceremony and a concert by the pop-rock band Raffy. «

Welcoming so many young Francophones and Francophiles reveals the richness of our Northwestern Ontario community,” said Claudette Gleeson, President of the ROFTB Cooperative Inc. « Thunder Bay’s Francophonie is reasserting itself. It is a pleasure to be able to share our heritage and celebrate our Franco-Ontarian flag for the forty-second year.”

In conjunction with the festivities, the Centre francophone de Thunder Bay opened its doors to the general public. From 2:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., visitors took the opportunity to meet the employees of the member groups and tenants of the ROFTB Cooperative Inc. and rediscover the history of Ontario’s Francophonie through two bilingual exhibits created by the French Canadian Club of Thunder Bay.

Recently opened, 234 Van Norman houses the offices of six organizations working for Francophones in areas including literacy, navigating the health care system, violence against women, immigration assistance, and Francophone community development.

The Centre francophone also provides a multitude of gathering opportunities for members of the community, in that it is quickly becoming a focal point for local Francophone individuals and groups.

In addition to the socialization activities organized on-site, three meeting rooms with state-of-the-art equipment available to individuals and professionals allow for a convergence of resources and services as well as greater collaboration between the actors of community life.

For Claudette Gleeson, « the Francophone Centre represents the great joy of Francophones to contribute to the influence of the community, to the development of a stronger and more flourishing region.»