French-speaking youth from across Canada will converge in Oak Bay next summer for the 2020 Canadian Francophone (CF) Games.
On Oct. 24, dozens of Greater Victoria youth gathered at École Victor-Brodeur to learn more about the event – which will be hosted in B.C. for the first time ever.
“It’s really exciting, it’s a national event and it’s happening here in Victoria,” said program coordinator Myriam Hug. “It’s the first time ever out west here, so it’s a plus for the excitement, usually it’s on the East Coast.”
The event, which takes place July 14 to 18, 2020, will see every province and territory bring a delegation of youth between the ages of 14 and 18 to compete for five days in three categories: arts, leadership and sports.
Under arts, competitors will go head-to-head in visual arts, culinary arts, music and improvisation. Under leadership, the youth will compete in citizen engagement, public speaking and media. The sports category will see the Francophone students compete in badminton, basketball, ultimate frisbee, sailing and volleyball.
Intended to stimulate and support Franco-Canadian culture, Hug says all the competitions and events happen in French, as well as opening and closing ceremonies. The event also includes a Francophone night, open to the public.
Organizers have been planning the event for nine months and expect approximately 1,200 youth to gather in Victoria. They will be hosted at schools across the region, while the competitions and events take place at a number of venues, including Oak Bay High School, Ogden Point, Crystal Garden and Willows Park.
According to CF Games media liaison Louise Alepin, the CF Games will need about 700 volunteers, and French-speaking is not a pre-requisite for the role (although competitors must be Francophone).
According to organizers, the event is expected to draw close to 15,000 spectators and tourists, and economic revenues from hosting are estimated at $3.8 million.
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