The Nous Chantons group is holding a singing event at the Parksville Community Park on June 28, and is inviting the public to take part. — NEWS file photo

Group to celebrate Canadian heritage with french sing-a-long

Nous Chantons group at Parksville Community Park June 28

A local French singing group is back with its annual performance/sing-a-long in the Parksville Community Park on Wednesday, June 28.

Called Nous Chantons, which translates to “we sing,” the group is made up primarily of Francophones as well as some non-native French speakers who, in addition to other activities, celebrate St. Jean Baptiste Day every year by singing French songs in the park.

This year, the group is holding its annual event several days after St. Jean Baptiste Day, but it will function as another celebration of Canada a few days before Canada Day, said the group’s co-ordinator, Suzanne Bernard.

She said the event is an opportunity to celebrate Canada as a bilingual country, and the diversity of the country.

“Maybe here, not many people speak French, but I know at least 100 people here who speak French,” said Bernard, in addition to there being a French Immersion program in the school district.

Bernard’s own history is quite diverse. Her family has Acadian roots, as well as Irish and Mi’kmaq ancestors.

The group generally organizes the event around the annual picnic of the Nanaimo French School (École Océane), which will be at the park again this year. Bernard noted that the group is not a choir, but people who enjoy singing and wish to share it with others. The public is welcome to come watch and listen, as well as take part.

Nous Chantons will be singing folk songs as well as contemporary music from France, Quebec, the Caribbean and Louisiana, as well as some songs in English and Spanish.

The event runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. by the playground. Bernard said anyone interested is invited to come by with their garden chair and their lunch to join in or listen. She noted the event could be cancelled in the event of rain.

For more info, email Bernard at nouschantons@hotmail.com.