Think about this for a second: Where can you go in Guelph if you want to use your French language skills? Seriously. This is a bilingual country, and unless you have friends or family that speak French or live in an area with a lot of French speakers, where do you go, and who do you talk to, if you want to speak French? That maybe about to change.
Thomas Gallezot is originally from France but he’s made his home in Canada, first in Toronto, but more recently in Guelph, which are two places not exactly notable for their local French culture. Of course, there are francophone people in the Royal City, but where can you go to hang out with other French people? For that matter, where can you go to flex those French language skills you spent so much time honing in school? Gallezot had a similar thought.
There are actually a lot of different French houses in Canada, including one in Ottawa, where you think it would be easy to find French speakers since Quebec is literally just across the river. La maison de la francophonie d’Ottawa is a cultural centre with sports and rec activities, health services, cultural events, language courses, childcare, employment help, and services for newcomers, which all sounds pretty good, right? So what would it take to create a maison de la francophonie in Guelph?
The person best suited to answer those questions is Thomas Gallezot, and he will talk about coming to Canada, and whether he was surprised by the lack of French facilities here. He will also discuss what a French house in Guelph might look like, and how it’s essentially about tearing down walls between Canada’s two solitudes. And finally, Gallezot will discuss the potential fundraising avenues, how the old Drill Hall might make a nice location, and what he hopes to get out of the project personally.
So let’s talk about speaking French on this week’s edition of the Guelph Politicast!
If you want to help out with the cause of getting Une maison de la francophonie à Guelph, or if you want to learn more about the mission, you can go to the Facebook page set up for the project and join.
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