Mayor’s Office

Governor, Mayor, International Leaders Participate in Flag Raising Ceremony to Celebrate International Francophonie Month

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

March 23, 2015
Contact:  Mike Kanarick
                 802.735.7962

Governor, Mayor, International Leaders Participate in Flag Raising Ceremony to Celebrate International Francophonie Month

Burlington, VT – Governor Peter Shumlin, Mayor Miro Weinberger, Québec Premier Philippe Couillard, Acting Consul General of Canada in Boston Aaron Annable, Consul General of France in Boston Fabien Fieschi, and Honorary French Consul for Vermont Ernie Pomerleau today participated in a flag raising ceremony in front of Burlington City Hall.  The ceremony was organized in the spirit of promoting International Francophonie Month and the cultural and economic ties among France, Canada, Québec, the State of Vermont, and the City of Burlington.

“We welcome Premier Couillard and our other international guests to Burlington and appreciate the opportunity International Francophonie Month offers our City to strengthen our cultural and economic relationships with our French friends overseas and in Canada,” said Mayor Weinberger.

Acting Consul General of Canada Annable presented the flag to Mayor Weinberger on behalf of the New England Francophonie organizing committee. The City of Burlington’s Police and Fire Honor Guards conducted the official raising of the flag.

The annual flag raising for International Francophonie Month, a month to celebrate international French language and culture around the world, is a collaborative effort of these local and international governments and is supported by the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region (AFLCR), whose mission is to engender awareness of French culture and support the local francophone economy. Today’s flag raising followed official proceedings in Contois Auditorium, during which Mr. Pomerleau, AFLCR President Victoria Brassart-Jones, and Burlington Honfleur Sister City Committee Chair Lise Veronneau also participated.

“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,” stated Mr. Pomerleau.

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

The City of Burlington recently expanded its international French relationships with the formation of the Burlington Honfleur Sister City Committee on March 21, 2012, and the City has since nurtured that relationship, sending a Burlington delegation to Honfleur, France in 2012 and welcoming Honfleur Mayor Michel LaMarre and his delegation from Honfleur to Burlington in 2013.  Last summer, a local Boy Scout troop traveled to Honfleur, beginning the first official youth exchange between the two cities.  Committees in Burlington and Honfleur have been working for the past three years to promote and understand our respective cultures and economic development opportunities in mutually rewarding ways.

ABOUT THE ALLIANCE FRANCAISE OF THE LAKE CHAMPLAIN REGION
The Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region (AFLCR) is based in Burlington, Vermont where French history goes back 400 years. The AFLCR 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.

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Press Release Date: 
03/23/2015
City Department: 
Mayor's Office