The Government of Canada is committed to encouraging the growth and prosperity of official-language minority communities, and to promoting our two official languages across the country
OTTAWA, Sept. 25, 2018 /CNW/ - Our two official languages are at the heart of our Canadian identity. The Government of Canada is committed to encouraging the growth and prosperity of official-language minority communities, and to promoting our two official languages across the country
Today, as we celebrate Franco-Ontarian Day, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, announced that students at official-language minority schools will be able to enjoy a variety of artistic and cultural activities thanks to an investment of up to $7.5 million starting in 2019–20.
In addition to contributing to the vitality of the community, these activities will allow students to learn more about their culture, thereby helping them build their sense of identity in their first official language. The Community Cultural Action Micro-Grant Program for Minority Schools offers new micro-grants to support cultural activities in these schools. These activities will be managed by two community and cultural organizations: the Fédération culturelle canadienne-française (FCCF) and the English Language Arts Network (ELAN). Community-based organizations across the country, along with 1,000 schools in the linguistic communities, will have access to this funding. Thanks to this investment, more than 4,000 cultural activities will take place over the next four years.
This measure is part of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future, announced on March 28. The Action Plan, which has the goal of supporting communities across the country and helping our official languages thrive in the years to come, is the largest federal investment in official languages in our history: $2.7 billion over five years.
"Our government recognizes how important it is for students in official-language minority communities to be able to enjoy culturally enriching experiences that make them proud of their language and their culture. We are proud to implement this program, which will not only increase the number of activities offered, but also immerse students at official-language minority schools in the cultural life of their community. Canada's two official languages are deeply rooted in our history and are key elements of our Canadian identity."
—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie
"Like Minister Joly, the FCCF wants to ensure that the students and staff of our French-language schools have access to even more artistic and cultural activities and experiences. Through exposure to arts and culture, students will cultivate their pride and creative ability, and encourage them to dream big. The FCCF is pleased to be the key partner in implementing this important program. We see this collaboration as an appreciation and recognition of our members' outstanding work on the ground."
—Martin Théberge, President, Fédération culturelle canadienne-française
"ELAN looks forward to collaborating with Canadian Heritage to facilitate this important program. In addition to providing fulfilling work opportunities for Quebec's English-speaking artists, it will offer students inspiring and meaningful engagement with the arts, creativity, identity and culture in their schools."
—Bettina Forget, Board President, English Language Arts Network
According to Statistics Canada's 2016 census, Francophone communities outside Quebec represent 3.8 percent of the population. The rate of bilingualism among Anglophones outside Quebec peaks at 6.8 percent. According to the projections for 2036, the percentage of Francophones outside Quebec could fall to 3 percent. The national bilingualism rate would only be increased by Quebec Francophones (up from 44.5 to 49 percent in 2036). The current rate of bilingualism in Canada is 17.5 percent.
There are official-language minority communities in all provinces and territories of the country. These communities all have their own realities and needs. This plan aims to address the unique challenges faced by Francophone communities outside Quebec and English-speaking communities in Quebec.
The Action Plan proposes $499.2 million in additional funding to supplement current investments of $2.2 billion, bringing the Government of Canada's support to nearly $2.7 billion over five years.
The Action Plan is the result of an analysis of the Pan-Canadian Consultations on Official Languages, which took place from June to December 2016. More than 6,500 Canadians and organizations participated, and reports from parliamentary committees were tabled on the subject.
SOURCE Canadian Heritage
For further information: (media only), please contact: Jérémy Ghio, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, [email protected]; Media Relations, Canadian Heritage, 819-994-9101, 1-866-569-6155, [email protected]