Ontario Trillium Foundation supports Coopérative du ROFTB's project to reduce social, cultural and linguistic isolation among Francophones in Thunder Bay!
On Wednesday, November 22nd, Ontario Trillium Foundation announced its financial support to Coopérative du ROFTB’s three-year project aimed at reducing social, cultural and linguistic isolation among Thunder Bay’s Francophone community. The $548,800 grant will help strengthen connections between community members by encouraging participation to social activities at Centre francophone, and community engagement.
Release : Thunder Bay's Francophone and immersion students gather at the Centre francophone to celebrate Franco-Ontarian Day
Thunder Bay – Monday, the Coopérative du regroupement des organismes francophones de Thunder Bay (ROFTB Inc.) welcomed over a thousand people from the francophone and francophile community at 234 Van Norman Street to join in Franco-Ontarian Day celebrations.
The Coopérative du ROFTB Inc. and the Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boréales worked together so students from l’École secondaire catholique de La Vérendrye, l’École catholique Franco Supérieur, and Thunder Bay immersion schools could attend a Franco-Ontarian flag raising ceremony and outdoor concert by pop-rock band Raffy. “Seeing such a large group of young people celebrating Franco Ontarian day speaks to the vitality of the francophone community,” said Coopérative du ROFTB Inc chair Claudette Gleeson. “We can see a French language revival in Thunder Bay. We are so pleased to take new opportunities to share our heritage and to celebrate our Franco- Ontarian flag for the forty-second year.”
Following the festivities, the community was invited to discover the Centre francophone during an Open house. From 2:30pm-8:00pm, many people visited the recently renovated building, met the staff, and learnt more about Ontario’s francophonie through two bilingual exhibitions created by the Club canadien-français de Thunder Bay.
Six organizations serving French-speaking individuals, professionals and communities rent office space at 234 Van Norman Street. The Centre francophone also offers many opportunities for the community to gather, as it quickly becomes a reference for those seeking resources and services in French. In addition to the social activities hosted in the building, three meeting rooms are available for rent to both individuals and professionals at the centre, allowing for greater coherence and collaboration. For Claudette Gleeson, “the Centre francophone embodies the francophones’ contribution to a thriving community, to a stronger region, and the great joy that comes with such contribution.”
FedNor Funding Announcement
On Monday, July 24th, chair Claudette Gleeson and our youth intern Claire Thiébaut attended FedNor's funding announcement at Thunder Bay Mission Island Marsh. The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North, made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Malton, and Minister responsible for FedNor.
Claire works at the Centre francophone as a Community Economic Development Officer. She was hired in March 2017 through the Youth Internship Initiative, created under the Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP) and the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) .
The Centre francophone renovations are completed!
Thanks to the many donors and volunteers, renovations at our 234 Van Norman Street location are completed and our members welcomed the community on June 2nd, 2017 for the Centre francophone Grand Opening. During the event the Wall of recognition was unveiled and the Board of directors announced that the new community hall would be named after the chair of Coopérative du ROFTB Inc., Claudette Gleeson. As per the conference room, it was named after former chair Denyse Culligan who continues to volunteer her time and skills to the co-op.