2012 Franco Fete

french, american, heritage, foundation, festival, minnesota, mn, minneapolis, st. paul, twin cities, franco fete

Le Vent du Nord played at the 2012 Franco Fete in Minneapolis

2012 Franco Fete Photo Gallery

On September 28, 29 and 30, 2012, Franco-Fete 2012 was held in Minneapolis. Virgil Benoit, director of Initiatives in French/Midwest Initiatives en Français (IFMidwest), and a professor at the University of North Dakota, provided the leadership in organizing this event which celebrated French-Canadian American heritage in Minnesota.  Franco-Fete 2012 programming included the following:


  • Workshops, booths, films, talks, a virtual tour of historic heritage sites in Twin Cities area, interactive sessions on Acadia, and French-Canadian American heritage in the Middle West and New England;
  • Canadian presenters and performers gave talks, academic sessions, introductions to the services of the Canadian Consulate of Minneapolis, Le Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques and of the Délégation du Québec à Chicago, concerts, and workshops both at Franco-Fête and in two secondary schools;
  • A keynote address, academic sessions on Haiti and African immigrants to the Midwest, a concert, workshops for youths on African arts, and September 30 (Sunday afternoon) major humanistic exchange with and about new Twin Cities African francophone immigration, organized by members of the Saint Boniface francophone parish and African community of Minneapolis;
  • Canadians from Manitoba, Quebec, Ontario as well as from le Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques with representatives from California and Quebec City,  the Quebec Delegation from Chicago, and the Minneapolis Canadian Consulate gave talks, and staffed booths;
  • Teacher development sessions were offered for teacher credit through the University of Minnesota, College of Arts and Sciences Global Institute, a curated historic art exhibit by a Minnesota artist, new-learning demonstrations through historic drama and professional puppetry;
  • France’s historic and on-going presence in the Middle West, two concerts, teacher sessions, Alliance Française of Minneapolis booth;
  • Historic tour of Our Lady of Lourdes and concert in the historic French-Canadian community of Saint Anthony;
  • Attendees were greeted with coffee and pastries, and, at their choice, a Friday evening supper at Our Lady of Lourdes, and a lunch and supper at De La Salle high school on Saturday Sept. 29;
  • Prizes were given out for various activities; souvenir T-shirts were available for purchase, a souvenir boutique provided a variety of items for the occasion;
  • Le Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques and IFMidwest co-sponsored a reception following the evening concert.

Thoughts about the first Franco-Fete held on September 28-30 can be found at Dick Bernard’s blog which can be found at address below.


Places of origin of approximately 60 presenters


  • Numerous West African francophone countries such as Congo (Kinshasa) Senegal and Togo;
  • Canada (Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec);
  • Haiti;
  • France;
  • United States (Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Wisconsin)

Entities which gave cash support*; Entities which gave through participation in the programming**


  • *   Supporters of IFMidwest in the Midwest and Canada;
  • ** Members of the former Société Canadienne-française du Minnesota;
  • ** University of North Dakota;
  • ** ToutCanadien.com;
  • *   Le Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques (Quebec City);
  • *   L’Université de Saint-Boniface, Manitoba;
  • *   La Délégation du Québec à Chicago;
  • *   Association Américaine des professeurs de français;
  • *   Association Américaine des professeurs de français du Minnesota;
  • *   Global Institute, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Minnesota;
  • ** Etoile du Nord Immersion totale;
  • ** Lakesville South High;
  • ** Concordia French Language Village;
  • ** Concordia College, Moorhead, MN;
  • ** Macalester College;
  • ** University of Minnesota, Minneapolis;
  • ** University of Minnesota, Duluth;
  • ** College of Saint Thomas;
  • ** L’Alliance Française du Minnesota;
  • ** De La Salle High School;
  • ** Saint Boniface Parish, Saint Anthony;
  • ** Our Lady of Lourdes, Saint Anthony;
  • ** Durand Heritage Foundation;
  • ** Association des Français du Nord;
  • ** North Dakota French-Canadian Family History and Genealogy;
  • ** Coquette Boutique.

2012 Franco Fete Photo Gallery

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