Whitehorse Daily Star

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TERRITORY MAKING AN IMPACT – ‘Yukon has a big place in the imagination of French people,’ says Brigitte Proucelle, seen last week during her visit to Whitehorse.

France looks to strengthen ties with Yukon

The cultural advisor at Ottawa’s French Embassy visited the Yukon last week with the Consulate General of France to look into expanding French ties to Whitehorse’s arts community.

By Gabrielle Plonka on August 26, 2019

The cultural advisor at Ottawa’s French Embassy visited the Yukon last week with the Consulate General of France to look into expanding French ties to Whitehorse’s arts community.

“Creating French content is at the heart of both France and Canada’s priorities,” said a release advising of the visit.

“The visit also marks the importance of France’s interest in enhancing its presence from one coast to the other.”

Brigitte Proucelle joined the Consulate General from Vancouver in Whitehorse last week to visit the MacBride Museum, Association franco-yukonnaise, Yukon College and the Yukon Arts Centre.

Proucelle also met with the ministers of Tourism and Culture and Education as well as the commissioner, premier, mayor and Yukon MP.

For Proucelle, the visit was about creating connections based on common values.

“We share many things like democracy, inclusion and equality of opportunity,” Proucelle told the Star last Thursday morning. “We strongly share a vision of the world for the future.”

Proucelle believes shared perspective and goals can flourish into joint projects.

“It’s so obvious to work with Canada and with Yukon in francophone matters, and also in artificial intelligence and sustainable development,” she said. 

“It’s about what kind of world we would like for our children and for the planet.”

Proucelle added she believes Canada and France excel at different things and can learn from each other.

“Canada has good immersion schools and we have to learn from Canada about that. France is good in early stage education,” Proucelle said. “It’s complementary.”

Proucelle commended the Yukon’s culture of innovation in technology, science and the arts.

“(Yukoners) want new things, and to discover more, and especially attract people who can appeal to their mind and their sensibility,” she said.

Yukon MP Larry Bagnell met with Proucelle last Thursday.

“It was great, I think we have good relations with France in the Yukon,” Bagnell said this morning. “There’s a history, right back to the Gold Rush (of relationships with France).”

Bagnell said he, Proucelle and the Consulate General discussed tourism, technology and innovation.

“I told them we’re keen on renewable energy in the Yukon, on all levels of government,” Bagnell said.

He said they discussed investment in mining and tourism, and he recommended partnership with Yukon First Nations groups. He added the ambassadors expressed interest in forming more economic ties with Canada.

“They were quite keen on expanding trading opportunities,” Bagnell said. “That’s always a big objective of Canada: to diversify our trade. Most of our trade is with the United States, and we’d like to diversify that as much as possible.”

Proucelle told the Star she was surprised, but happy, to note how many people aboard her flight to Whitehorse last Wednesday were tourists from France.

“Yukon has a big place in the imagination of French people, because of the history and because of the Gold Rush,” she said.

When she spoke to the tourists on her travels, she found this fascination rang true.

“They were just curious to discover Yukon, they think it’s a country of possibilities. They’re interested in nature, First Nations, all of your stories and what you’re building.

“I was happy to notice that.”

Comments (12)

Up 1 Down 2

Joe on Sep 1, 2019 at 12:47 am

@ Vernon- merci

Up 7 Down 6

Moose on Aug 29, 2019 at 10:32 pm

@Kooky Josey
What invaders has France fallen to and how has Macron sold out his people? I'm gonna go out on a limb and guess you have never even been to France. I look forward to your conspiracy ridden response nonetheless.

Up 11 Down 3

vernon meister on Aug 29, 2019 at 5:30 pm

I now changed my mind about moving to Whitehorse, after reading all of this.

Up 13 Down 2

Josey Wales on Aug 28, 2019 at 9:17 pm

Hey BnR...wish not to trip ewe out but, great post.
18 on the thumbs up for you I was.
Those few lines, such a volume of wisdom...seriously.

Please, carry on. You can still loathe me, it’s cool.
Kinda like a Ralph and Sam thing I suppose, someone has to watch the sheep.

Up 16 Down 2

Oya on Aug 28, 2019 at 5:35 pm

Well said, BnR. Sums up MY viewpoint exactly.

Up 23 Down 6

Tater on Aug 28, 2019 at 4:11 pm

I think YukonMax is right "that the majority of Yukoners despise all things French". We are tired of paying thru the nose for a bunch of 'we're special' people who cost taxpayers many times what they contribute. Of course that's only my opinion.

Up 25 Down 4

Juniper Jackson on Aug 28, 2019 at 1:35 pm

I despise any small group that feels entitled . These folks didn't give a hoot what it was going to cost, just build that school for 14 kids and we're french, make it a rock star. I don't like it when my taxes go up for stupid reasons. I didn't like it when Slippery Silver gave $100,000 + for 40 Muslims to build a Mosque. I didn't like an outdoor 3 month a year rink for 8 million. And I for sure as hell didn't like that monstrosity on the hill that Dan insisted on. I don't like to see public funds dedicated to gay parades. I don't like a lot of things, and they're all tied to money. What do I like? I like Rotary Park. Everyone of these groups, and the others springing up in Whitehorse can enjoy Rotary Park, even seniors out for a stroll. So much hypocrisy going on here. Ol' dan and his the world is ending, climate emergency. Get out of the city car Dan and ride the damn bus. The gentleman that hides his frenchness outside of his home... ever stopped to ask those coworkers why? Might not have a darned thing to do with your being french. Personally, they can go make a relationship with Quebec. They have much more in common with European French.

Up 52 Down 5

BnR on Aug 28, 2019 at 8:07 am

Dear YukonMax
Yukoners don’t “despise all things French”. What doesn’t sit well is when a small entitled group demands to be separate and exceptional.
Me, me, me doesn’t sit well.

Up 9 Down 35

Maggie on Aug 28, 2019 at 8:03 am

What a great idea. I tutored Francophones who were learning English. There is a strong, vibrant Francophone community in Yukon. Strengthening its cultural input will enrich the Territory.

Up 25 Down 6

Josey Wales on Aug 27, 2019 at 11:58 am

Is that right eh? Seems to I that France has fallen (again) to invaders, looking for new lands to reside in thee French?
Who cares what the French ruling class wants or likes, the people of the fallen France are my concern.
How Macron has not gone the way of the rope, considering how he sold out his people...baffles me.
Seems the French have surrendered...again.

Up 17 Down 22

YukonMax on Aug 27, 2019 at 6:15 am

Dear Brigitte, as a French Canadian in the Yukon for almost 30 years, it became clear to me very early in the game that the majority of Yukonners despise all things French. So I only speak it at home. And since I am the first to comment, just read the rest of these comments.

Up 44 Down 6

jc on Aug 26, 2019 at 8:35 pm

What did the French people have to do with the Klondike gold rush?

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