First of all, I want to thank my social media friend Doris Perrault Pelletier for adding this following quote to the message I posted about the Francophonie kick-off celebration, hosted at the French Cultural Center, on March 5, in Boston:
Doris Perreault Pelletier “It’s wonderful that there is a celebration for Franco Americans. Society has changed quite a bit since the 50s. It’s wonderful that people have learned to appreciate Franco Americans.”
Merci, amie Doris! Together, we recognize Maine’s rich international French history, language, culture and traditions.
BOSTON, Mass– We started our recognition to highlight Franco-Americans and Francophones on March 5, by joining the international kick off with Arnaud Mentré, the new Consul General of France to Boston.
Follow up programs will continue this celebration theme on March 19, in Augusta and Lewiston, Maine. A schedule and public invitation are published in this blog.
In Boston, La Grande Fête de la Francophonie was celebrated at a kick-off reception to recognize the “Month of the Francophones”. This year, it happened to be scheduled on Mardi Gras, March 5, at the French Cultural Center and Library, on Marlborough Street. At the international party hosted by Arnaud Mentré, the public was invited to explore exhibits from invited presenters that represented the diversity of the French speaking populations. Several exhibitors from New England attended. In Maine, the guests were Mitch Thomas, the executive director of the Franco-Gendron Center in Lewiston, Juliana L’Heureux, the vice-president of the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn Campus Franco-American Collection board (USM LAC, FAC), her husband Richard L’Heureux of Topsham and Emmanuel Kayembe, a fellow for Franco-American Studies at USM LAC FAC.
We were delighted to meet the wonderful hosts at the French Cultural Center and to have the chance to sample a few French wines. Thanks to the Haitian delegation who attended, we were also treated to a glass of Prestige beer.
Consul General Arnaud Mentré welcomed the guests. Prior to being appointed to Boston, Msr. Mentré served at the French Embassy in Moscow from 2009-2011, and then became adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, for Russian, Eastern European, and defense and security issues (2011-2012). We invited him to visit Maine where he will have the opportunity to attend the events in Augusta and Lewiston, on March 19, with invitations to the public described below:
In March: Maine Speaks French!
La Journée internationale de la Francophonie au Maine; International Francophonie Day in Maine- invitations, schedules and contact information.
March 19, 2019 at 11:00 AM
Blaine House (the Governor’s Mansion) in Augusta
Celebrate the thriving economic, cultural and historical connections between the Pine Tree State and the Francophone world.
We will kick off the official Francophonie Celebration at 11:00 AM with representatives from Canada, France, Haiti and Québec, along with state legislative officials and Maine Governor Janet T. Mills. The Governor will officially proclaim March as Francophonie Month in Maine, celebrating the strong ties linking Maine and the Francophone world.
Hosted by the Office of Governor Janet T. Mills, this event is free and open to the public: Bienvenue à tous!
Date and Time: Tuesday March 19, 2019 from 11:00 AM – 12 noon
RSVP to email@example.com
Following the Blaine House program, the Honor of your Presence is also requested at the
Francophonie Celebration at the Franco-American Collection (USM LAC FAC)
Monthly Memories Workshop and Reception
2:30-3:30 Conversation with leaders from the Franco American Collection
Description of current projects, Portal Project-Doris, Program vision, philosophy and anticipated 2019-2020 season- Denis or Jacynthe, and International Fall Conference- Emmanuel. Exhibit review by Juliana L’Heureux, 7 minute description and time for questions.
4:00 James Myall will speak about Immigration and Discrimination and the impact of the Klu Klux Klan on Catholic Franco-American Discrimination; yesterday and today.
5:00 Signing of Quebec Fleur de Lys Agreement
Followed by a reception in honor of the Quebec Delegation and French Consul General from Boston. Location: Room 170 at Lewiston/Auburn College, Westminster Street, Lewiston, Maine .
Please confirm attendance for both events by March 12th.
Contact: Mitch Thomas – firstname.lastname@example.org
Jacynthe Jacques – email@example.com
Merci! Indeed, there are many reasons to celebrate the French in Maine.