Francophone centre gets federal funding

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TRURO – More programming and production could soon be coming to École acadienne de Truro thanks to some federal funding.

Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong talks with Yvette Saulnier, director of the Centre communautaire francophone de Truro, following a funding announcement that will see the centre receive $100,000 during the next two years through the Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. 

Yvette Saulnier, director of the Aberdeen Street centre, said funding to the tune of $100,000 during the next two years will allow the centre to continue to operate while offering familiar programs, and some new ones as well.

“This will allow us to continue with our French courses for parents and adults, which are ongoing all year,” said Saulnier just after Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley MP Scott Armstrong made the announcement on Tuesday. “The shows we offer aren’t as often, but still throughout the year. Some of them are expensive to bring in.”

The centre has grown in its programs being offered, such as its after-school program during the past few years, with the hopes of adding at least one new program starting in the fall.

“We’re hoping to offer a craft night for adults and seniors, maybe once a week or once a month, whatever they’d like, where they can gather and do activities such as knitting, or something,” she said.

Along with the French courses, the centre will continue with its ACA-Jam project, which saw a band comprised of young musicians record and release a CD, as well as the after-school program. It also offers a cooking class, with an Acadian flair to its dishes.

During the announcement, Armstrong, who was there on behalf of Shelly Glover, the minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, said the centre is a “dynamic” meeting place.

“You’re working on behalf of the Acadian and francophone communities in Colchester County and with this funding, you’ll be able to offer more shows in French and be of better service to families,” he said.

Prior to the announcement, Armstrong had been practicing his French speaking skills to make the funding news in both official languages.

“I’ve been taking lessons this year and it’s a bit of a challenging endeavour for someone my age to pick it up,” Armstrong said. “I can read French really well, but speaking it is a little more difficult.”

Because the new centre opened more than a year ago, Armstrong said it has been working at bringing the community in.

“They’ve been doing more productions to bring the community in … it’s a robust francophone community we have here in Colchester County.”

When Saulnier first joined the centre three years ago, she said the after-school program had about 12 youth. Now, it’s up to more than 60.

“We’re booming,” she said.

Twitter: @TDNRaissa

Organizations: Canadian Heritage

Geographic location: Aberdeen Street

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