Celebrating French language, food and culture

Rendez-vous, borrowed from the French verb rendre, to return, is back for its 22nd year

On June 21 to 23, there will be fantastic music and family fun for free as well as delicious food, put on by La Société francophone de Victoria.

The festival aims to showcase what’s available to Victoria’s francophones and francophiles, (non-native French speakers interested in French culture) as well as to showcase French music, food and fun, as only the French know how.

La Société francophone, which has been around since 1941, hosts several events through the year but this is the biggest, says communications coordinator Valérie Delort.

When Delort first moved to Victoria from her native Belgium, she met only a few French speakers.

“Since I have been working with La Société, I am meeting new people every week that never have even heard of La Société francophone even though they’ve lived here for years. We have a lot of francophone and francophile people in Victoria and they aren’t even aware that we exist. The festival is a good way to meet them,” Delort says.

The festival is a way to change that and get the message out that there are a lot of francophone people in Victoria and lots of services for those people.

While the festival celebrates everything French Victoria has to offer, everything will also be bilingual.

“The goal is to have something in French that includes everyone,” Delort says.

There will be music, with world-class acts from British Columbia, Quebec and elsewhere as well as kiosks, and face painting, Delort’s personal favourite.

“I love seeing the kids’ once they look in the mirror,” says Delort, who used to do the painting herself but has since passed that on to someone else.

The festival will welcome many francophone musicians and organizations with French services, offer delicious bites to eat and activities for the whole family. For example, the library will be there showing off some of its French collection and the Alliance Française will be attending to provide information about their french classes and to sell french books

There will be of course lots of music, all afternoon both Saturday and Sunday. “You don’t need to speak a language to understand music,” Delort says.

La Société francophone de Victoria provides many services and activities in French, such as social events, a computer room, and a francophone library. Their website also includes a calendar of the city’s French events and lists of where to find professional service providers who speak French.

The main part of the festival is at Market Square starting at noon on Saturday June 22, but there will also be a happy hour at 5 p.m. Friday, June 21 at 2-1218 Langley St. to celebrate the start of the festival.

Five things to do at Rendez-vous Victoria 2019:

  1. La Graff Lunch at 10 Acres Commons, at 11 a.m. June 21. Book here.
  2. Happy Hour from 5 pm to 7 p.m., June 21 at La Société francophone de Victoria. Book here
  3. Live music from noon on Saturday, June 22 at Market Square including music by Boogát, a Canadian-Mexican from Quebec who mixes hip-hop with Latin music
  4. Live music from noon on Sunday, June 23 at Market Square including the group Mimosa;
  5. Face painting! Both Saturday and Sunday.

 

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