A vibrant Francophone community in Hawkesbury

February 27, 2024

Language isn’t only a powerful way for humans to make contact, it’s also part of our identity and culture. Whether they’re moving to another country, travelling overseas or for work-related reasons, many people open up to other cultures by learning new languages. In fact, according to an article from the University of Ottawa, being a polyglot would promote “memory, mental well-being and the ability to multitask.”

Mois de la Francophonie

With the arrival of the Mois de la Francophonie (March 1 to March 31), we’d like to highlight the activities and services offered in French in Hawkesbury, a town rich in culture. First of all, let’s take a look at the spread of French across Canada and Ontario.

O Canada

Canada is one of only three officially bilingual countries in America and 18% of its people speak both French and English. Despite reports that the French language is slowly disappearing, 22% of the Canadian population still speak only French. Most of them live in Quebec, New Brunswick, Yukon and—proudly—Ontario! According to an interesting Statistics Canada survey, 76% of French speakers say that being bilingual (French and English) is part of their Canadian identity.

Ontario, a province of choice

You’ll be delighted to learn that nearly 4% of Canada’s French-speaking population lives in Ontario! Despite statistics showing a decline in understanding of the French language in recent years, French maintains a strong presence in the eastern part of the province. More than 60% of Eastern Ontario’s population understands and speaks French. It’s enough to declare it THE province of choice for French-speaking immigrants!

Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie (RVF)

Returning for a 26th edition,Les Rendez-vous de la Francophonie’s mission is to promote Francophone culture across Canada. A proud Franco-Ontarian, LeFLOFRANCO is one of the spokespersons for the 2024 edition. With a fun and educational approach, RVF offers a variety of activities, competitions and workshops for schools. More information about the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie program can be found on their website.

Hawkesbury, as broad as its French-speaking community

The town of Hawkesbury is recognized for its rich cultural diversity and acclaimed for its social and community integration programs. There’s no doubt that Hawkesbury’s citizens are known for their hospitality and involvement in their community. You’ll discover a full range of activities and services, all offered in French!

Activities – What to do in Hawkesbury?

As part of the Welcoming Francophone Communities (WFC) initiative, several partners have organized cultural, social and educational activities focused on welcoming and integrating French-speaking newcomers. Read our January newsletter to learn more about these activities (French only).

The municipal recreation department organizes a multitude of events, in French, throughout the year. Keep an eye on the events calendar so you don’t miss anything! In addition, the Hawkesbury Public Library offers a wide selection of publications and workshops in French for all ages, free of charge for Hawkesbury residents.


Whether in the transportation, health, education, business or professional sectors, every service is offered in French as well as English in Hawkesbury. Particularly relevant to French-speaking newcomers, a number of professional services are offered, such as educational credential assessment (ECA), job search assistance and continuing education to keep your skills up to date.


Moving to a new country naturally involves changes in employment. The Employment Services Centre, in partnership with CFA, helps newcomers by providing an integration service and support tailored to their needs. The Prescott-Russell Entrepreneurship Centre, meanwhile, provides the tools, resources and knowledge newcomers need to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence to start their own business in Canada.

All in all, this union is a win-win for newcomers and the current community alike. In addition to the multiple integration services already discussed, participation in conversation circles, offered by the Moi j’apprends centre, promotes fluency when discussing a new language as well as its integration into everyday life. We encourage you, through these sessions, to explore all the cultural richness that our language has to offer!

Hawkesbury may be bilingual, but it’s home to so many cultures.

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