Issue 16

Newsletter - Back-to-school 2019

School is back in session – A word from Gino LeBlanc

On behalf of the Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs, allow me to welcome you to campus, and to SFU’s French Hub!

The entire OFFA team is delighted to greet you and our sincere hope is that your time at SFU will be full of new discoveries on both academic and personal fronts. Post-secondary education in French in B.C. is an advantage and an asset that will serve you for the rest of your life!

Above all, don't wait until later: the university experience is here and now. Your SFU experience isn’t just about your future, it’s about the present. Enrolling in a course or program in French makes you part of the Francophonie — right now! By connecting with the Francophone community, you will meet people who are passionate about the French language and inspired by a vision of a plural and inclusive society.

This year, the OFFA is celebrating its 15th anniversary, and we plan to highlight this with new activities and increased programming. Invite your friends to subscribe to our newsletter and follow our Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts to stay up to date. For our back-to-school celebration on September 20, Radio-Canada will be back and broadcasting live "on the mountain" (at SFU’s Burnaby campus). Our signature event, the Printemps de la francophonie, will be celebrating its 10th year in March 2020. This PDLF will feature commemorative events you won’t want to miss!

I want to sincerely welcome you to SFU. The OFFA is your home! Have a great start!

Kicking it off: OFFA's 15th Anniversary Celebration

In honour of its 15th anniversary, the Office of Francophone and Francophile Affairs is organizing a very special back-to-school celebration!

This lunch hour event will take place on Friday, September 20 at UniverCity Town Square on SFU’s Burnaby campus (close to the OFFA offices). All members of the SFU student and professional community who are involved in French-language courses, programs and services are invited to join in the celebrations.

Event highlights include: musical entertainment (presented by Radio-Canada), surprise guests, contests, games, poutine and lots of fun...in French! *Note that this event will be English friendly too! We are looking forward to launching the 15th anniversary celebrations with you!

Symposium on the Francophonie in BC

To help mark its 15th anniversary, the OFFA is also organizing a Symposium on the Francophonie in British Columbia on October 4 and 5. The sessions will be held in the OFFA student lounge.

The event will include:

1 panel specifically dedicated to the creation of OFFA

5 panels covering the following topics:

  • New curriculum: reality and challenges
  • Francophone spaces: participation and inclusion
  • Identities, plurality and Francophone cultures
  • Francophonie in the courts
  • French learning and usage


Participants will have the chance to hear and meet with 13 speakers, including experts on the Francophonie in B.C., professors from 8 Canadian universities (some in B.C., some in other provinces), as well as 2 privileged observers of the evolution of French-language research in our province.

This symposium will lead to the publication of a volume by Les Presses de l’Université Laval (to be published in late 2020).

More details are coming soon.

 Meet Gaëlle de Lamotte - Executive Secretary at the OFFA

If you swung by the OFFA offices this summer, you may have noticed a new face in the role of Executive Secretary: Gaëlle de Lamotte.

Originally from Belgium, Gaëlle arrived in British Columbia last March and came into contact with SFU at the bilingual job fair. She joined the OFFA team in April.

A few questions to get to know her better...


What brought you to Canada (and Vancouver specifically)?

It was the urge to explore and, above all, to live and work in another country. As someone who is passionate about travel, I was often frustrated by my superficial knowledge of the places I’d visited. I chose Canada because I love hiking and magnificent landscapes, as well as being able to practice English and French on a daily basis.

What did you study in school?

I studied political science with a focus on political sociology and European studies. I attended the Université Libre de Bruxelles, one of the OFFA’s partner institutions!

What was your last job before you arrived at the OFFA?

I was an adviser in the office of the bourgmestre (mayor in Belgium) of Schaerbeek, a municipality in the Brussels region. My main areas of expertise within the office were urban development and renewal, administering the budget, maintaining relations with the Brussels region and managing public policy (e.g. elections, mandate transparency and policy evaluation).

What do you like most about Vancouver so far?

I like how the city integrates harmoniously with the landscape. I’m particularly fond of the pedestrian/bike path along False creek, between the Olympic Village and Granville Island.

What do you miss most about Belgium?

My family and friends, but also some culinary specialities—a major one being chocolate!

Outside of work, what do you like to do?

I enjoy spending time with my husband and daughter, especially on hikes. I also enjoy reading documentary fiction and historical novels.

If you have not yet met Gaëlle, you will probably have the chance to do so very soon, during the OFFA's 15th anniversary events!