International Francophonie Day was celebrated by the Toronto Police Service's French Consultative Committee (FCC) at headquarters on March 20 by members of the French community, from Africa to Europe to Ontario.
Toronto Police Services Board Member Marie Moliner said Toronto is a place where diversity is celebrated.
“Your diversity and your perspectives are important,” said Moliner, of recognizing the wide variety of French cultures in the city.
“It’s through our willingness to try to speak the languages that others speak is how we get to know each other,” Moliner said, after providing remarks in French and noting that many in the audience spoke four languages. “It’s a pleasure to be here to hear wonderful music and see a beautiful space lit up with all of your faces.”
Congolese performer Fumu Jahmez danced and sang, accompanied by a backup band filling the headquarters lobby with sound and a traditional Congolese meal was provided to guests.
Chief Administrative Officer Tony Veneziano said the Service continues to value the work that the French Consultative Committee does in creating a collaborative approach to policing the city.
“La Journee (Francophonie) gives us an opportunity to celebrate the diversity and richness of the French language and also of the Francophone community and what you bring to our great city,” Veneziano said. “The Service is in the midst of modernizing how we keep our communities safe. The principles continue to be to keep engaged, inclusive and collaborative with all Toronto’s diverse communities.
Nathalie Lévesque, the outgoing FCC co-chair, was recognized for her contribution to the work of the committee over the past six years.
Adriana Chapman and Sophie Deschênes were among the young performers singing the national anthem.