Celebrating Our French Roots: Francophonie Day

On March 20th, Vermont celebrated International Francophonie Day with the help of dignitaries from France, Canada and Quebec.

Together, they underscored the cultural, economic and political ties among these entities and the State of Vermont.

Organized by the Alliance Française of the Lake Champlain Region (AFLCR) in cooperation with the Mayor’s office, dignitaries and residents gathered to “hisser le drapeau pour élever l’amitié entre le Vermont et les pays francophone.”

International dignitaries gathering to participate in the event included: Valèry Freland, Consul General of France in Boston; Christine St-Pierre, Québec Minister of International Relations and Francophonie; and Marc Jacques, Senior Political and Economic Affairs Officer with the Canadian Consulate General in Boston. Joining these special guests are Vermont Governor Phil Scott and Mayor of Burlington Miro Weinberger who is co-host of the event with Honorary French Consul to Vermont, Ernie Pomerleau. Also speaking were Adrienne Coleon Gaskell, Board Member of the AFLCR and Lise Veronneau, President/Chair of the Burlington, Vermont/Honfleur, France Sister City organization.

The event kicked off at Contois Auditorium, City Hall, with live French-language chansons by trad music trio Va-et-Vient and brief remarks by the local and visiting dignitaries. Following the official remarks, the Burlington Police and Fire Color Guard led the assembled outside to the flagpole on the Church Street side of City Hall for the formal raising of the flag.