Return in force and in music from the Calgary Franco Festival

The event made a strong comeback at Place Olympique after two years of health restrictions linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The warm temperatures did not dampen the hundreds of festival-goers who came to enjoy this cultural bath.

The purpose of the event: to discover the various French-speaking communities of the world, explains one of the coordinators of the project, Zinha Muabi.

The Francophonie is not just Quebec or Franceshe pointed out, especially since the majority of the kiosks represented communities from Africa.

Zinha Muabi, operations manager at the Portail de l’Immigrant Association (PIA), the non-profit organization behind the event, which was first launched in 2011, points out that the Franco Festival is a place of meeting for the Francophonie.

It’s an opportunity for everyone […] to see precisely that there is this diversity, because when [certains] arrived, many said to themselves ”We don’t know, are there any French speakers, where are they?”

Rima Elsefari and her daughters prepare to perform for festival-goers.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marc-Antoine Leblanc

Violinist Rim Elsefari is also delighted with this return to the stage with the French-speaking public after playing music accompanied by her daughters.

I can say that I share a small piece of French culture, she says. I am very happy to share this culture in Calgary, because it is something good.

Joe Bryan Mugisha stands in the Burundi stand.

Joe Bryan Mugisha was very happy to introduce his culture in French.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Marc-Antoine Leblanc

An opinion shared by Joe Bryan Mugisha, a volunteer at the Burundi kiosk: It’s a chance to show off our wealth.

It’s a bilingual country [et] to have this opportunity to represent our francophone side is good.

This was the 19th year of the Calgary Franco Festival.

With information from Bassirou Bâ and Marc-Antoine Leblanc.

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