Franco-Festival Set to Go with Provincial Help

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THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is providing a major boost to Northwestern Ontario’s largest Francophone Festival.  MPP Michael Gravelle, Thunder Bay-Superior North, announced the $40,000 “Celebrate Ontario” grant to support “Franco Festival”, which will take place on Saturday May 29, 2010 at the Thunder Bay Sports Dome.

“I’m thrilled to see this support from our government for this culturally-significant event.  The Festival will bring francophones together from all across Northwestern Ontario, and will enrich our community both culturally and economically.  I’m proud that we’re contributing to the success of this year’s event with this funding announcement today,” said Gravelle.

“I am very excited about this announcement. The Franco-Festival is a wonderful way to celebrate Northwestern Ontario’s rich and diverse francophone heritage. This funding will allow us to expand the event and to showcase the best we have to offer. Make sure to bring your whole family for a taste of French-Canadian culture,” said Claudette Gleeson, Festival Chair.

This is the second Franco-Festival to be held in Thunder Bay.  This year the doors will open at 3:30 p.m. with family activities, a sports tournament, an art exhibit from regional francophone artists and French-Canadian food on offer.  Concerts begin at 6:30 p.m. with “Swing”, “Les Trois Accords” and “Tam Tam Mama”, a percussion group of African origin.

Celebrate Ontario 2010 is an $11 million program to increase the economic potential of new and existing tourism festivals and events.  This year’s program was open to festivals and events taking place in Ontario between April 1, 2010 and March 31, 2011.

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