ABIDJAN, Ivory Coast (GNB) – Gabriel Robichaud of Dieppe and Samantha Stewart of Fredericton will be the Team Canada-New Brunswick flag-bearers at the opening ceremonies of the 8th Games of La Francophonie, which will be held July 21-30 in Abidjan, Ivory Coast.

“I congratulate these two young people, as well as all athletes and artists who will represent our province with pride and talent,” said Economic Development Minister Francine Landry, who is also the minister responsible for La Francophonie. “The bilingual status of our province gives our youth the opportunity to participate in this major international event and demonstrates that our province’s economy and social fabric benefit from bilingualism and diversity. The Games are open to all New Brunswickers between the ages of 18 and 35 who qualify in their discipline.”

The Games of la Francophonie (website in French only) are the largest sporting and cultural event for youth organized within the Francophonie. They take place every four years, during the year following the Summer Olympic Games.

“Sport and culture are important sectors that foster the province’s economic development,” said Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames. “Both of our flag-bearers demonstrated excellence in their respective disciplines and they look forward to competing against the best athletes and artists of the nations that are members of the International Organisation of La Francophonie.”

An actor, writer and musician, Robichaud is the 2017 winner of Le Droit literary prize in the youth category, and he won the Eloizes prize for the artist of the year in literature in 2016. He won the Prix spécial Suzanne-Cyr in 2012 and the Prix Viola Léger in 2011, both presented by the Fondation pour l’avancement du théâtre francophone au Canada (foundation for the advancement of francophone theatre in Canada).

Stewart, who is 27 years old, won a silver medal in wrestling at the Games of La Francophonie held in Nice, France, in 2013. She won the bronze in 2014 and the silver in 2016 at the Universiades, and she was the senior champion at the Pan American Games in 2016. She also won a bronze medal at the Grand Prix of Germany and a gold medal at an international competition in Italy in May.

The Team Canada-New Brunswick website will be updated to include results, news and photos.