The celebration of Franco-Ontarian Day took on special significance this year at the University of Ottawa with the much-anticipated inauguration of the Monument de la francophonie, the eighth such monument in Ottawa to honour Franco-Ontarians.
The fundraising campaign for this project, led by the Organizing Committee for the Monument de la francophonie at the University of Ottawa, successfully raised some $150,000, which was $50,000 more than the initial goal. The extra money allowed for a giant Franco-Ontarian flag to be raised on the Lees campus, which will inspire Franco-Ontarian pride from one end of campus to the other. The University of Ottawa contributed an equivalent amount to complete the work on both campuses.
One of the University of Ottawa's primary aims is to promote bilingualism and strengthen francophone communities, and this monument is a concrete symbol of our commitment to the Franco-Ontarian community and to the francophonie, said University of Ottawa President and Vice-Chancellor Allan Rock. This monument was built thanks to the collective efforts of the Franco-Ontarian community: it illustrates their pride in being Franco-Ontarian.
The University's long tradition of commitment to the francophonie dates back to the University's foundation in 1848 and was included in the University of Ottawa Act, 1965. The names of the more than 200 generous donors who contributed to building this monument are inscribed on the monument's signs that proudly display the Franco-Ontarian colours.
The materials used to build the monument reflect traditional Canadian industries, namely forestry, mining and agriculture. We are extremely proud of this partnership and we warmly thank all those who contributed to the fundraising campaign, said Daniel Boivin, honorary chair of the University of Ottawa Monument de la francophonie organizing committee.
Located centrally on the main campus near Perez Hall and the Félix Leclerc memorial, the Monument de la francophonie will serve as a meeting place and rallying point for the University community.
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