Educational, cultural and audiovisual cooperation between France and Canada
Our cooperation is characterized by shared views on the importance of cultural diversity in the context of globalization. Highly practical instruments for cooperation now foster smooth exchanges between professionals in France and Canada. This cooperation has three main thrusts.
The priority is to promote higher education in France among Canadian students, whom we hope to interest in continuing their studies in France (universally recognized quality of French degrees, value added of an education in both official languages, potential access to the European university system).
The cultural service is encouraging the establishment across Canada of a network of Edufrance offices and information and orientation centres for Canadian students.
A Web site on education in France (http://www.culturel.org/ETUDIER/CULT_COURS or http://www.culturel.org/ETUDIER/CULT_SUP) as well as a mailing list are available to provide opportunities for students in France and Canada to compare their experience and exchange advice in the field of education. This list, called SUP-FRCA, is a veritable virtual information centre to which students can subscribe by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
In the field of information and communications technology applied to education, especially distance education, a major area of shared interest between France and Canada, we are striving to stimulate exchanges between institutions of higher learning and French and Canadian operators.
Through close cooperation with major Canadian organizations specializing in education in French, the cultural section is furthering efforts to develop immersion classes with intensive instruction in French as a second language, and contributing to teacher training for French as a foreign language.
Finally, the French school system in Canada (http://www.claudel.org) delivers instruction to 6,500 students that meets French curriculum requirements, under the aegis of the Agence pour l’Enseignement français à l’Etranger. The excellent results obtained again in 2002 for the French baccalauréat provide solid evidence of the value of this education. This serves as the best showcase for France’s educational system in Canada.
The issue of cultural diversity is systematically raised by senior officials in France and Canada at international forums, where they jointly defend this principle, that intellectual and artistic productions cannot be reduced to simple commodities. Similarly, they support independent creation in all areas of artistic expression and encourage reciprocal knowledge of our cultures.
Very highly developed artistic exchanges between France and Canada help promote our contemporary artists in all media (music, theatre, dance, visual arts). These exchanges are the result of partnerships with major Canadian institutions, such as the Canada Council, the National Arts Centre and the Banff Centre for the Arts. The Alliance Française (http://www.af.ca) also plays a key role through its 11 chapters throughout Canada, by providing French courses as well as organizing cultural events in conjunction with the Embassy.
Canada is the third largest importer of French books. We have a very active policy to promote French literature in Canada, through participation by authors at all book fairs (English and French) across Canada, as well as French intellectuals at university symposiums.
Through the France-Canada museographic agreement, museums in both countries have forged close links evident in part in the quality of major exhibitions that have toured Canada in recent years, as well as those now being prepared in France.
Finally, cooperation between the national archives of both countries is especially active and has led to many projects, especially celebrations in 2004 to mark the founding of New France.
Our objective in this area is to foster exchanges between French and Canadian operators in the converging fields of television, film, radio and new media.
In the television sector, the presence of TV5 in North America was recently reorganized to achieve a higher profile. In programming, the number of coproductions is rising. The audiovisual landscape in Canada changed with the arrival of ARTV - the result of a partnership between the French-German network ARTE and Radio Canada, Télé Québec, BCE Media -in 2001, followed the next year by Euronews, Planète and Paris Première, now available on digital cable in Quebec.
In film, the Embassy supports small and large Canadian festivals that feature French films. Canada is the fourth largest importer of French audiovisual programs (in 2000, the latest data available, Canada accounted for 6 percent of total French program sales abroad). Canada is also France’s leading partner for television coproductions and presales, for animated as well as fictional and documentary programming.
In radio, we are promoting the broadcast of Radio France International in partnership with Canadian operators. Since June 2002, RFI and RFI Musique can also be heard on digital cable in Quebec. We also support community radio stations with the Alliance des Radios Communautaires du Canada and foster twinning of public radio stations in Canada and France. Under the partnership between Radio France and the CBC’s French network, two twinnings were introduced in the spring of 2002 between regional stations, France Bleue Vaucluse in Avignon with Radio Canada in Toronto, and France Bleue Chambéry with Radio Canada in Vancouver.