The Francophone and Francophile Cities Network Turns 5!
October 15, 2020
In 2008 the mayor of Québec City suggested creating a continental network for municipalities to share their history, heritage, experience, and expertise. The mayors of Moncton, New Brunswick (Canada) and Lafayette, Louisiana (U.S.) welcomed the idea. In 2015, the three founding cities joined forces with Centre de la francophonie des Amériques to create the Francophone and Francophile Cities Network (the Network or FFCN).
The FFCN is a unique and fundamentally important project: a continent-wide francophone network made up of municipalities sharing a common cultural and historical heritage based on four centuries of francophone presence. The Network strengthens the Francophonie by promoting its development and influence.
The FFCN’s scope sparks the imagination, with members everywhere from Acadia and Western Canada to New England, Louisiana, and the Caribbean.
It draws its strength from stakeholder actions that benefit first and foremost the members of francophone and francophile communities.
THE FFCN, A UNIFYING FORCE
Since its founding, the Network has brought together hundreds of builders, decision makers, and stakeholders from francophone communities at unifying events.
- Founding Rendez-vous in Québec City, Québec in 2015 (Canada)
- Interim Working Session in Lafayette, Louisiana in 2016 (United States)
- Rendez-vous in Québec City, Québec in 2015 (Canada)
- Interim Working Session in Grande Prairie, Alberta in 2018 (Canada)
- Rendez-vous in Moncton, New Brunswick in 2019 (Canada)
These meetings were opportunities for members to forge ties with each other and acquire tools to develop and enhance their tourist attractions and cultural initiatives.
THE FFCN, A FORCE FOR DEVELOPMENT
In five years, the FFCN’s ambitious plans have taken shape in cooperation with municipalities and francophone and francophile communities, organizations, and associations committed to building the North American Francophonie.
The following tourist route projects are in development:
- The Franco-Route linking the New England cities of Woonsocket, Rhode Island; Manchester, New Hampshire; Biddeford and Lewiston, Maine (United States)
- The Louis Riel route in Manitoba
- The Northeast Alberta Bilingual Tourism Network
Other tourism routes in the French-speaking world are partnering with the FFCN to take advantage of its network and anchor their development in the FFCN vision!
Since 2017, member cities and organizations associated with the FFCN have had the opportunity to host interns working on projects in connection with the FFCN under an agreement with the International Youth Offices of Québec (Lojiq), Office franco-québécois pour la jeunesse (OFQJ) France, Wallonie-Bruxelles International’s Bureau International Jeunesse (BIJ), and Centre de la francophonie des Amériques.
THE FFCN, A PIONEER IN PROMOTING FRANCOPHONE HERITAGE AND CULTURE
The FFCN now has 157 member cities in eight major regions of North America and more than 200 collaborating organizations. It serves francophone cities and communities of all sizes and means that look to each other to develop and grow.
Thanks to its committed stakeholders, the FFCN is a driving force for municipalities wishing to share their history, heritage, and francophone culture. The Network encourages the pooling of resources and expertise among its members for the creation of tourist routes and attractions that show off the diverse and dynamic francophone and francophile communities of North America.
BEST WISHES TO THE FFCN!
Normand Gousseau, CEO, Entreprises Riel, Manitoba, Canada
The story we tell, the experience we bring to visitors is not ours, but the community’s. So the people themselves [...] must tell their story. It has to be firmly rooted in the community. Otherwise, it’s not sustainable.
Antonine Maillet, Acadian writer
As mayors, you speak with the public. You have to help your municipalities, those around you, to understand that it’s not a bad thing to speak an ancient language, one that gave rise to masterpieces [...] and is still so important today.
Sébastien Roy, Distillerie Fils du Roy, New Brunswick, Canada
If you come from a very small region or province, even if you’re in the linguistic minority, you can have big dreams and make them come true there. No matter what community you come from, it probably can’t get much smaller than Petit-Paquetville. But you can still dream big.
Consult the souvenir photo album