Celebrating French Culture in Thunder Bay

By Louise Boderé, Communication Officer, Centre Francophone

The Franco-Festival Thunder Bay is back for its seventh year. Thanks to their partners and the help of the community, it is now an annual event with more fun every year. Here’s what’s planned for this year’s celebrations, from September 12 to 14.

On September 12, come out to the Centre Francophone at 234 Van Norman Street at 7 pm for François Bouvier’s La Bolduc. The screening will be free, and all are welcome to attend. The film will be shown in the original French but there will be English subtitles, so there is no excuse to miss this experience. 

On September 13, adults (19+) are invited to an “all-French night” at The Outpost at Lakehead University starting at 8 pm. There will be a cash bar, music, and activities. It will be the perfect occasion to socialize and share your summer break memories. All are welcome to attend: francophones, francophiles, or English-speaking folks who just want to be immersed in the francophone culture.

Last but not least, don’t miss the street festival on Van Norman Street on September 14. Starting at noon, there will be shows, fun activities for the whole family, vendors, and more to give you the opportunity to (re)discover and celebrate our French-Canadian heritage and cultural diversity. Yes, there will be poutine, as well as many other traditional dishes.

On the music side, En Barque and Sara Dufour will grace the stage with an unforgettable show. At noon, local talents will get the ball rolling with a variety of performances. At 1:15 pm, En Barque, a band from Quebec, will get you up and dancing and singing in the street. Sara Dufour, also from Quebec, is up at 2 pm and will close the show. Dufour has performed at many venues this summer including the Francofolies de Montréal, where she delighted the large crowds with her songs, humour, and propulsive energy. You really don’t want to miss her performing live with her band!

Bring your own chair to enjoy the shows. If you’re not into music, there will be other activities for the whole family. Help build the biggest Franco-Ontarian flag ever made of Lego, or try VR goggles by local company ORIGIN.

Find more information about the Franco-Festival’s program at francofestival.com or facebook/francofestivaltb. You can also follow the festival on Instagram with #FrancoFestival or visit them on Van Norman Street.