Mayor’s Office

City of Burlington Hosts Flag Raising Ceremony in Honor of International Francophonie Month


March 30, 2016
Contact:  Jennifer Kaulius

City of Burlington Hosts Flag Raising Ceremony
in Honor of International Francophonie Month

BURLINGTON, VT – In the spirit of promoting Francophonie Month and the cultural, economic, and political ties between France, Canada, Québec, and the State of Vermont, international dignitaries will gather for a flag raising in downtown Burlington today, March 30, 2016. The flag raising is a collaborative effort of the City of Burlington, the State of Vermont, Canada, Québec, and France — and is supported by the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region, located at 43 King Street in Burlington, whose mission is to engender awareness of French culture and support the local francophone economy.

“We appreciate the opportunity International Francophonie Month offers our City and our community to strengthen our cultural and economic relationships with our French friends overseas and in Canada,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “The Alliance Française has been an essential partner in fostering this relationship, creating important cultural exchanges and dialogue. I would like to extend a special welcome to our international guests – bienvenue!”

The City of Burlington expanded its international French relationships with the formation of the Honfleur Sister City on March 21, 2012 and has nurtured that relationship with travels to Honfleur in 2012, welcoming Mayor LaMarre and his delegation from Honfleur to Burlington in 2013, followed by the first youth exchange of Boy Scouts traveling to Honfleur in 2014. Most recently a Burlington delegation, including Mayor Weinberger and his wife Stacy, visited Honfleur in June 2015 to promote and understand our respective cultures and economic development opportunities in a global and mutually rewarding way.

Local and international dignitaries gathering for the annual flag raising ceremony to show their support include: Valery Freland, Consul General of France in Boston; Mary Beth Meade, representing the Quebec government office in Boston; Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger; and Ernest Pomerleau, Honorary Consul of France in Burlington.

The event will take place in front of City Hall in Burlington today, Wednesday, March 30 following official proceedings in Contois Auditorium at 4:30 pm.

Vermont is blessed with having a large percentage of French-speaking citizens, along with strong economic and cultural connections with its nearby foreign neighbor, French-speaking Québec.  Regional diplomatic representatives from France, Burlington, and Québec were eager to underscore these ties with a flag raising ceremony in March, celebrated as the month to celebrate international French language and culture around the world.

Burlington’s Police and Fire Honor Guard will conduct the inaugural raising of the flag of the International Organization of La Francophonie with its multi-colored circle on a white field. Mary Beth Meade, representing the Quebec government office in Boston, will present the flag on behalf of the New England Francophonie organizing committee.

The international dignitaries will be the Alliance Française’s special guests for a fundraising dinner at Bistro de Margot in Burlington on March 30. The event, open to the public, sold out in four days.

The event is hosted by Honorary French Consul for Vermont, Ernest Pomerleau, who noted: “We are thrilled to join delegates and community members together to celebrate our long history of friendship and partnership with France and our Québecois cousins just across the border.”

“The Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region is proud to cultivate Francophone culture in Vermont every March and throughout the year. Community members are invited to join our annual Quebec Friendly business seminar, networking groups, language classes, films, conversation groups, social events, bilingual playgroups and more,” added Alliance President Victoria Brassart-Jones.

The Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region (AFLCR) is based in Burlington (43 King Street), where French history goes back 400 years. It is dedicated to engendering awareness of French culture and supporting the local francophone economy through a variety of activities, including those that take advantage of our proximity to francophone Canada. The AFLCR is affiliated with the Federation of Alliances Françaises USA, the largest network of centers for French language and culture in the world. For more information, please visit



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