The French language was elevated to the status of Canada's official national language, in the same rank as English, in 1969. Today, the French language and the Francophone culture are therefore an integral part of Canada's cultural heritage and a source of pride for Francophone communities throughout the country.
What about the Francophone community of Ottawa in all of this?
Francophone communities have existed in Ontario since the 17th century and have settled here, thus playing a historic role in the development of the region. Government censuses have established that about 50% of Ottawa's population is able to speak French! Is this more or less what you imagined?
In addition to its Francophone community, Ottawa also has a multitude of parks that only require animation! Indeed, the city makes a point of honor to value its green spaces. And Ecology Ottawa and Park People have found the perfect opportunity to highlight those features that make Ottawa the city it is today!
« Les amis des parcs »
"Les amis des parcs" is a program put in place by Ecology Ottawa and Park People Toronto to celebrate Ottawa's French communities and their culture while highlighting the green spaces of the Capital. Through this project, the goal is to encourage community exchange and limit social isolation. Ecology Ottawa is a local non-profit organization that aims to make Ottawa the green capital of Canada, and Park People is also a non-profit organization that supports building strong communities by leading and enhancing Canada's parks.
The idea is simple: turn parks into vibrant and lively spaces dedicated to strengthening community links. Interesting, is not it? For this, the goal is to organize 10 events between spring and fall 2018 in Ottawa parks. The possibilities are endless and the events chosen by the communities can be of any kind (picnics, afternoon discoveries, outdoor cinema, hiking, tree planting…).
Who does not dream of such an opportunity, to discover their community and highlight their culture?
The idea is interesting, but communities do not always have the means to organize such events.
This is true, and we thought about that! Many resources will be available to participants when needed.
In concrete terms, what resources are we talking about?
- WebinarTwo webinars (or online seminars) will take place between January and June 2018, accessible online and rebroadcast in a room so that participants can then share their ideas and questions about the project. These webinars will aim to present the possibilities of turning parks into spaces for communities to live, but also to answer all questions concerning the organization of such an event (recruitment of volunteers, promotion of the event, planning…).
- Park ForumIn addition to these two sessions, two forums will also be organized in the form of a round table to discuss the various steps necessary to achieve these events.
- Park SummitA "Park Summit" will also be held in April. This will be an opportunity for Francophone communities to come together to discuss the different opportunities for green space development and to find inspiration for organizing their own events.
- Toronto Park People grant
In addition to these resources, Toronto Park People also offers financial assistance: the TD Park People Scholarship. The latter will be offered to Francophone communities who will commit to the organization of 3 community events in Ottawa's green spaces and to give life to the city's urban parks. You can apply for a grant here: https://parkpeople.ca/parkgrants/
- Ecology OttawaFinally, Ecology Ottawa is also committed to supporting participants and guiding them in their project.
Many resources are available to help you, do not hesitate and make French culture a source of celebration!
And enjoy the season. Incidentally, Park Month will take place in Ottawa in June 2018 and is aimed at organizing 20 events in Ottawa's parks during the month. It would be great to combine these two opportunities and highlight the Francophone communities of Ottawa while promoting the green spaces of the capital!
But how to participate in this program?
To participate in "Friends of the Parks" and for any additional information, just contact this address: [email protected]
Join "Les amis des parcs" and celebrate French culture!