FREDERICTON (GNB) – Closing ceremonies for the seventh Canadian Francophone Games were held July 15 in Dieppe. Awards were given to the winning teams and the Games flag was presented to the region that will host the next Games in 2020.

“I thank all members of the organizing committee, the many volunteers and the representatives of the cities of Dieppe and Moncton for successfully meeting this challenge,” said Economic Development Minister Francine Landry, who is also the minister responsible for La Francophonie. “The province of New Brunswick is proud to have hosted these Games and given these young people an experience that will contribute to strengthen their motivation and their identity as francophones within our country as we celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Canadian Confederation.”

Over five days, participants competed in the three main sectors of arts, leadership and sports.

The Canadian Francophone Games are among the largest gatherings for French-speaking youth in Canada. This national event, held every three years, welcomes 1,200 participants and more than 750 volunteers.

“Hosting a national event like the Canadian Francophone Games shows the benefits associated with our status as a bilingual province as it allows us to develop business opportunities and support the achievement of our objectives, which are creating jobs, stimulating the economy and improving the quality of life for our families,” said Treasury Board President Roger Melanson. “Hosting such an important event generates millions of dollars in economic benefits, helps to create jobs, and shows once again the benefits that come with the bilingualism and diversity of our province.”

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

New Brunswick will host other events related to La Francophonie in the coming months and years, including the Rendez-vous Acadie-Québec, which will take place in Edmundston Sept. 26-28; the World Acadian Congress, which will be held in southeastern New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in August 2019; and the international Games of La Francophonie, which will take place in 2021.

The eighth Canadian Francophone Games will be held in 2020 in Victoria.