The National Campus and Community Radio Association’s (NRCA) Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF) initiative had been going for three years, when Cortes Radio came on board in  2017. When the program was originally launched, it consisted of  two minute audio capsules of the Francophone experience broadcast over nine participating NCRA radio stations. Rendez-vous de la Francophonie now broadcasts half hour programs from coast to coast. Seven British Columbian stations are participating this year:  CIVL (Abbotsford); WDCR (West Kelowna), CJLY (Nelson), CFRO (Vancouver), CICK (Smithers), CFUZ (Penticton) and CKTZ (Cortes and the Discovery Islands).

CKTZ’s Rendez-vous de la Francophonie Program

In our first locally produced program, Danielle Arcand introduced listeners across Canada to six Francophones and Francophiles living on Cortes Island and Campbell River. After Danielle moved to Quebec, the NRCA arranged for us to sponsor Victoria Fenner’s story of an Anglo-French family which almost forgot its French heritage.

On March 20, 2018, 20 NCRA stations are airing 20 documentaries to celebrate the 20th anniversary of RVF. Quadra Island resident Francesca Gesualdi produced CKTZ’s contribution. 

Rendez-vous de la Francophonie is produced by participating stations across Canada and broadcast on CKTZ Wednesdays, from 9:30 - 10: AM. (Access podcasts of previous RVF programs here)

Top photo credit: Celebrating the French-Speaking World from the College of DuPage Language Department and French Club (La Connexion Française) via Flickr (CC BY SA, 2.0 License)

Podcasts Of CKTZ Productions

Francesca Gesualdi, who produced Celebrating Francophones and Francophiles for Cortes Radio

Celebrating Francophones and Francophiles

Celebrating Francophones and Francophiles is one of the 28 minute documentaries made for the NCRA’s Rendevous de la Francophonie marathon on March 20, 2018. The producer, Francesca Gesualdi, lives on Quadra Island and will also be producing an exploration of the oral tradition of storytelling called IReads for CKT.

In her written description of Celebrating Francophones and Francophiles, Francesca wrote:

“During a recent visit to L’Association des Francophones de Campbell River, Francesca interviewed Francophones and Francophiles to discuss the relevance of shared community spaces that support language, culture and connection.

“Over a delicious home made community lunch prepared by volunteers, particpants share their experience of the center, its resources to the francophone community, its library, and its role as a place of social well-being.”

Celebrating Francophones and Francophiles

by Francesca Gesualdi | Rendez-vous de la Francophonie

Railway Tracks image by Victoria Fenner

Railway Tracks image by Victoria Fenner

Le Mariage Anglais

When Cortes Community Radio expressed interest in commissioning a second show, but did not have a producer, Rendez-vous de la francophonie suggested they use radio/podcast producer Victoria Fenner.  This led to “Le Mariage Anglais,” the story of an Anglo-French family which almost forgot its French heritage. The narrative is also in English. In her description of the program, Victoria wrote:

Essex County, near Windsor is the first area west of Montreal to be colonized by the French.

When Victoria was a child in the 1960s, her family farm was located on Highway 98, the dividing line between French and English Essex County.

Though she knew her Grandmother’s name was Delaurier, the English sides of the family swamped the French sides. She remembers anti-French feeling in the county and the separateness of the two cultures and often wondered why she was never introduced to the kids she say playing in the yards on the other side of the tracks.

“Le Mariage Anglais is a 17th century French song lamenting the marriage of a family’s French daughter to an English king.The title refers to the same phenomena which happened in Victoria’s family — only it was the men who were assimilated by the English culture they married into.

The Delaurier men of the early 20th century married English women and became English themselves except in name.When Victoria delved into her family history to find out about that vague French side, she was surprised to find out that the Delaurier lineage led all the way back to the early days of New France, when two young women who came over on ships as “Les Filles de Roi”, daughters of the king. It was their job to marry the men of New France.Two of those young women were Victoria’s great great great great great grandmeres.

Victoria’s tell us about her journey to discover more about the Francophone part of her family’s history, and explores the cultural attitudes which were partially responsible for the silence around this part of her family’s history.

She also explores her own set of attitudes and beliefs about “those people who lived on the other side of the tracks”.

Joining Victoria in this documentary is life long Ruscomb friend Kimberley Simon; Andre Beneteau, a friend who also grew up in Essex County; and Edward St. Moritz, Victoria’s bilingual husband is also playing the music.

The funding for “Le Mariage Anglais” came from a Rendez-vous de la Francophonie grant to CKTZ.

Listen to Rendez-vous de la Francophonie on CKTZ, 89.5 FM, Wednesdays from 9:30-10:00.

West Coast Bonjour

In April 2017, Danielle Arcand introduced listeners to six Francophones and Francophiles living on Cortes Island and Campbell River. They explained the circumstances that motivated them to come live on the west coast, relating struggles and successes they have had in trying to maintain French in their daily lives and featuring a musical «coup de coeur», a song chosen by each participant.

At the time of the broadcast, Danielle was a retired teacher and educator living on Cortes Island.

“After a fulfilling career spent in French language education, including more than ten years as Associate director of the Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs at Simon Fraser University, she is still active in her retirement, volunteering as Board secretary for the national organization French for the Future and as member of the Board of directors for «Maison de la Fancophonie» in Vancouver. Danielle is keen to raise awareness about the social, historical, artistic and economical contributions made by Francophones in communities in BC and across Canada,” she explained.

“Although the show’s narrative is in English, the interview material quoted is in French. The narrative sums up roughly in English what is said in French so unilingual Anglophone listeners will be able to follow.”