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SDE: The Francophone Voice of the 2010 Olympics

Table of Content

To celebrate the 20th anniversary, we’re looking back at some of the milestones we’ve defined over the last two decades. For the next 8 months, we’ll be profiling some of the stories that are close and dear to our hearts, with a logo inspired by each of these milestones.

SDE: The Francophone Voice of the 2010 Olympics

With the recent Olympics in PyeongChang, it only makes sense to kick off our monthly series with a look back at SDE’s role in the 2010 Winter Olympics, held in our hometown of Vancouver. This month’s logo sees the SDE colors with an abstract and reflective wave illustration, representative of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics campaign.

Showcasing Canada’s Bilingual Heritage to the World

Early on, the SDE and other francophone organizations saw the 2010 Winter Olympics as an incredible opportunity to present Canada’s bilingual heritage to the world. Starting in 2006-2007, we traveled to French-speaking communities across the country, holding workshops to build economic support for a strong French speaking representation at the games. Eventually, our community secured a memorandum of understanding with the Vancouver Organizing Committee (VANOC) to ensure both the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games would be held in Canada’s official languages.

The Honorable Tony Clement, former Minister of Industry (2nd on the left on the photo) surrounded by representatives of SDE.

Place de la Francophonie

With the support of VANOC, SDE and Canada ‘s Francophone community has worked to provide a special place to celebrate and showcase Canada’ s Francophone presence during the Olympics. And so, the Place de la Francophonie was born; a hub for francophone athletes, businesses, artists, and more to meet and interact on beautiful Granville Island. Over two weeks, thousands of people visited the Place, francophone and otherwise, to take in the rich culture that Canada’s francophone community has to offer.

Her Excellency, the Honorable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada in 2010, with representatives of the Foundation for the Dialogue of Cultures and the SDE.

Project Accent

One of the many installations in the Place de la Francophonie was Project Accent , essentially a large, interactive screen set up to display the wide range of francophone accents across Canada. Among the many dignitaries that visited the Place, the Governor General Michaëlle Jean especially enjoyed Project Accent, so much so that her security detail had to step in and remind her to keep moving. We’ll take that as a success!

The 2010 Olympic Winter Games saw an unprecedented opportunity to showcase Canada’s rich bilingual culture. It was an unforgettable time for the city, the country, the SDE, and the francophone community at large. We were so proud to have had a part in introducing Canada’s unique Francophone culture to the world and looking forward to working with Francophone organizations the next time the Olympics are held in Canada (we are looking at you Calgary and Quebec City!) .


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