L’Année de la France


Representatives from Minneapolis-Tours, French American Chamber of Commerce, and the Mpls Mayor and City Council Offices

L’Étoile du Nord. Nicollet. Avenue. Renville County. From the state motto (L’Étoile du Nord is French for “Star of the North”) to streets, cities and counties named for early fur trappers and missionaries, Minnesota enjoys many French connections. 2010 was the 350th anniversary of the first documented French presence in the state and 2011 provides two additional reasons to celebrate this connection. The Alliance Française of Minneapolis-St. Paul, French American Chamber of Commerce, Minneapolis-Tours Sister City Association and Minnesota International Center recently hosted a party at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in Minneapolis to kick off L’Année de la France au Minnesota (The Year of France in Minnesota). Each year, the state partners with local organizations to broaden the understanding of different cultures (Malaysia was 2010’s selection) and provide an array of activities relating to the celebrated country.

Attendees at L’Année de la France on February 7 enjoyed the musical talents of local singer Maria Benson, an official proclamation from Ambassador Francois Rivasseau declaring the year of France presented by Consul General Graham Paul, Vouvray wine from Tours and information on upcoming French themed events including galas, a Bastille Day celebration and the opening of a French immersion school in North Minneapolis this fall. Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak and City Council President Barb Johnson also unveiled a proclamation declaring 2011 as the year of France in the City of Minneapolis (whose motto is En Avant, French for “Forward.”)

This year is also the 20th anniversary of the Minneapolis-Tours Sister City Association. Created in 1991 to foster closer ties between the people and institutions of both cities, they share common interests in education, quality job creation and the maintenance of a high quality of life with a wide range of cultural and recreational activities available to the entire population. Upcoming events include a mayoral delegation visit from Tours representatives in May and celebrating Sister Cities Day in July. If you are interested in helping promote this special relationship or would like to join us for these events, please visit our website to sign up and be notified. Merci beaucoup!

This post courtesy of Sarah Johnson, Minneapolis-Tours Volunteer


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