The Annual General Meeting of French for the Future was held on Friday, September 29 at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Conference Centre Gatineau-Ottawa. Board members received the annual report on the organization’s activities for the 2022-2023 fiscal year, and were able to take stock of the work accomplished to promote Canada’s official bilingualism and the benefits of learning and communicating in French to students in grades 7 to 12.
The year’s results are very positive, with all programs back in person and the organization celebrating its 25th anniversary. Through its activities this year, French for the Future reached 42,000 students in Canada’s 13 provinces and territories. The year was also marked by the introduction of a new podcast contest (in partnership with the Salon du livre de l’Outaouais and the French Embassy) and by the 1-year anniversary of the all French online platform Fr+.
Board members also received French for the Future’s audited financial statements, and adopted the organization’s new 2023-2028 strategic plan. This concludes the strategic planning exercise, which began last April, and involved numerous stakeholders, including young people, teachers, partners and funders. The new strategic plan will be unveiled to the public in the coming weeks.
The Board of Directors warmly welcomed 3 new members:
Gillian Blackmore participated in Newfoundland and Labrador’s first late French immersion program in 1979. She is an educational consultant (French programs) with the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District, where she supports curriculum implementation and administers provincial and federal government funds in support of French-language education programs.
Nicolas Daoust is originally from Sudbury, Ontario, and won a French for the Future scholarship to the University of Ottawa in 2015. After his post-secondary studies, he worked as a parliamentary assistant to an elected member of Parliament. Today, he is the Quebec City representative for Pit Caribou, a microbrewery in the Gaspésie region.
Kristy Brezina worked as Program Coordinator at French for the Future from 2010 to 2013. With her experience in marketing communications, business development, and leadership development, and also having newly carved her path as an FSL educator in Ontario – she comes with diverse experience in both the business world and K-12 education.
The three new board members join Ania Kolodziej, Denis Fontaine, Alec Boudreau, Charles Ashikwe, Marie-Pierre Lavoie, Michel P. Samson, Sandrine Berezowski, Martin Katz and Nicolette Belliveau. The organization bid farewell to Danielle Arcand, who served 14 years on the Board, in successive roles as director, secretary, vice-president, president and outgoing president. French for the Future warmly thanks Danielle Arcand for contributing her knowledge, energy and time to the organization with such passion and dedication.
Constitution of the Executive
The Board of Directors renewed the members of the Executive Committee: President Ania Kolodziej was re-elected for a two-year term; Denis Fontaine will continue as Vice-President for the coming year; and Alec Boudreau was re-elected as Secretary for a 2-year term. Marie-Pierre Lavoie, Michel P. Samson and Denis Fontaine were also re-elected to the Board for a 2-year term.
National Day of Truth and Reconciliation
To mark the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on Saturday, September 30, Executive Director Emeline Leurent, President Ania Kolodziej, and Gillian Blackmore attended the commemorative ceremony held on Parliament Hill to pay tribute to the children who never returned home, to the survivors of residential schools, and to their families and communities. It was a time to reflect on the resilience of Indigenous peoples and the work that remains to be done towards reconciliation, as well as the protection and enhancement of Indigenous languages and cultures.
From left to right: Ania Kolodziej, Emeline Leurent and Gillian Blackmore