FREDERICTON (GNB) – The 27th Provincial French Pride Week will be launched officially on Monday, March 21, at École Les Éclaireurs in Fredericton. The week runs from March 21 to 24.

About 29,000 students from 94 francophone schools across the province will celebrate their pride in the French language as well as their commitment to their culture. They will be supported by school staff, parents, and members of the Acadian and francophone communities. This year’s theme is Notre cœur bat en français, aujourd’hui et à jamais! (our heart beats in French, today and forever!)

“It is always inspiring to see the enthusiasm with which New Brunswick francophone students participate in the various activities of Provincial French Pride Week,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Serge Rousselle. “I thank all those who helped to organize the many activities. These efforts help to contribute to the vitality of Acadian culture for students of all ages.”

The week’s opening ceremony will be broadcast live in all francophone schools in the province thanks to the participation of Rogers community television. The ceremony will focus on the history of the French-speaking population in the Fredericton area. Students from all grades at École Les Éclaireurs will take part in the event through singing or the presentation of short plays. Some students from neighbouring schools, École des Bâtisseurs and École Sainte-Anne, will also participate in the ceremony.

A multitude of activities will be held during the week in all of the province’s francophone schools. The week will culminate with the recognition ceremony, which will be held at Polyvalente Roland-Pépin in Campbellton on Thursday, March 24.

Activities organized in the classroom will include rallies, dictation competitions, treasure hunts, spelling bees, and activities related to a special booklet prepared by the newspaper Acadie Nouvelle. Some schools will also hold special activities such as a competition similar to that of The Voice, Acadian lunches, family skating sessions, or even old-timer’s days.

Acadian artists will also participate in activities in francophone schools, including Roland Gauvin, Maxime McGraw, Joannie Benoit, and Jean-Marc Couture in the musical field, and Féelie Tout and Denis Boucher in literature.

Provincial French Pride Week is organized in close co-operation with various civic, community, school and media partners and the provincial government.