Experience McGill’s Francofête!

Francophones and francophiles, students and staff: don't miss McGill's Francofête!

The seventh edition of Francofête, a celebration of all things Francophone, is underway and will run until March 31.

Organized by the French Language Centre (FLC) in the Faculty of Arts, in collaboration with Vivre McGill en français, the annual event aims to encourage French-language initiatives and promote McGill’s Francophone identity.

“The French language is an integral part of life on campus,” says Manon Gadbois, director of the Vivre McGill en français initiative and co-organizer of Francofête. It could hardly be otherwise when more than one in five McGill students is a native French-speaker and more than half the student body speaks and understands French, with the same being true for employees across the campuses.

Logo de la Francofête 2023

French in all its forms

With its tagline, “Vivez l’experience,” the 2023 edition is all about diversity and discovery, says Gadbois, who is also a teacher and program coordinator at the School of Continuing Education.

“Everyone on campus is invited to experience and celebrate the French language by discovering McGill’s Francophone cultures and its francophiles. For many, it will also be an opportunity to meet new people, share their love of the language, and improve their French through various cultural, aesthetic, recreational or professional activities at McGill and in the community.”

Whether staff or student, Francophone or not, if you love French, Francofête is for you.

Something for everyone

“The beauty of Francofête is that it offers a range of original experiences thanks to input from several faculties, departments and student services whose mission is not necessarily to teach French. This year, for instance, the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures has organized a bilingual encounter with Frantz Voltaire recounting Haitian history in Montreal as part of the Latin American and Caribbean Studies program,” says Marion Vergues, Director of the French Language Centre.

“These kinds of collaborative efforts always make for a rich and unique program. Another example is the roundtable discussion, ‘Comment ma carrière a decollé ?’, organized jointly by the Career Planning Service (CaPS) and the FLC, where we have invited McGill graduates who learned or perfected their French at the FLC to share their experiences in the workforce in Montreal with McGill students.”

Francofête 2023 has something to suit every taste, says Chama Laassassy, coordinator of student activities at the FLC.

“There are so many activities this year, each more exciting than the last. Francofête’s grand finale is the Rallye, a race involving six challenges in downtown Montreal. Hosted by McGill students, for McGill students, the Rallye is my favourite event of the year!”

This year’s highlights include:

  • Comment ma carrière a decollé [How my career took off]
    Wednesday, March 29, 5:00 to 6:30 pm
    Come meet young McGill graduates working in Montreal and ask them all your questions in French about how they got their careers off the ground! Note that many of our guest speakers learned French as speakers of other languages!
  • The Francofête Rally
    Friday, March 31 at 1:30 pm
    Discover various historical and cultural features of Montreal in this race involving six challenges around the downtown area.

Francofête also offers several fun competitions centred on the French language:

  • Instagram photo contest – Quebec expressions
    March 9 to 26
    Grab your mobile device and share your favorite Quebec expression by tagging us on Instagram with @lefrenchsidedemcgill.  Need some inspiration? Visit the ‘Vivre en français’ website!
    Open to all members of the McGill community.
    Prize: $75 gift certificate for the Bota Bota floating spa.
  • Writing contest – Your favourite French word
    March 9 to 26
    What word in the French language makes you quiver, enchants you, inspires you? Write a short text to tell us about your favourite word and why you love it so much.
    Send your text of 75 words to vivremcgillenfrancais.scs@mcgill.ca
    Prize: The author of the best text will receive an Antidote software licence.

Explore the full Francofête program on the FLC website.