Christian Francey

Christian Francey

French culture takes spotlight

French Fest to showcase food, music, artisan treats

As well as feeding your stomach, this year’s French Fest in Victoria will surely feed your soul.

Events at Centennial Square on Saturday and Sunday will include an array of traditional French tourtière, pea soup, baguettes, brie and cheese curds.

And don’t forget to look for real maple taffy from Quebec, said Christian Francey, executive director of the Victoria Francophone Society, which is organizing the festival.

“It’s the real stuff,” he said.

The 14th annual French Fest embraces the diverse cultural backgrounds of 7,000 Francophones (whose first language is French) and 30,000 Francophiles (who speak French as a second language) living in Greater Victoria.

“French is a big part of our Canadian culture,” said Francey.

This year’s event celebrates French culture in Asian countries.

“We always have events that explore French in the world,” said Francey.

Thanks to between 50 and 100 volunteers, the highlight of the festival will include a free-admission family fun event at Centennial Square from noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday. There will be music, dancing and edible delights.

A guided French walking tour leaves from Centennial Square Saturday at 1 p.m., to showcase Victoria’s rich French heritage.

Other events include a comic on Thursday night, school workshops at the Leonardo Da Vinci Centre on Friday, a dinner and dance Friday evening and Francophone artisans at the Victoria Event Centre on Saturday. A Montreal slammer performs Saturday night, and a sugar-shack brunch happens at Centennial Square on Sunday morning.

For details and ticket information, please visit www.francocentre.com, or call 250-388-7350.

emccracken@vicnews.com