FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government is welcoming visitors and members of the provincial and territorial delegations to the seventh Canadian Francophone Games, which begin Tuesday, July 11, in Moncton and Dieppe.

“I wish the best of luck to all the young people who will participate in competitions in the fields of arts, leadership and sports,” said Economic Development Minister Francine Landry, who is also the minister responsible for La Francophonie. “This major event highlights our cultural pride and creates real benefits by attracting visitors to the region and by creating business opportunities and jobs.”

Participants will compete in 13 disciplines in the three sectors of arts, leadership and sports. New this year, Ultimate Frisbee will become an official competition. All competitions will take place at the Université de Moncton campus. Many prizes and more than 400 medals will be awarded.

“Your government understands that creating jobs and growing the economy is important for New Brunswickers,” said Treasury Board President Roger Melanson. “With thousands of youth from across the country, volunteers and their families and friends visiting, the economic benefits of the Canadian Francophone Games will be positive for the Moncton and Dieppe communities and also for the whole province. Our status as a bilingual province gives us access to business opportunities and openness to the world, which help us to directly achieve our goals, which are creating jobs, developing our economy and improving the quality of life for our families.”

Melanson spoke on behalf of Tourism, Heritage and Culture Minister John Ames.

The opening ceremony will be held Tuesday at Riverfront Park in Moncton. The Games village, located at the Moncton 2010 Stadium, will open the same day. The closing ceremony will take place Saturday, July 15, at Place 1604 in Dieppe.

It is the second time New Brunswick is hosting the Canadian Francophone Games. The inaugural Games were held in the Memramcook Valley in 1999.