Some 70 athletes and artists to represent Québec at the Francophone Games in Lebanon

Montréal, September 4, 2009–Pierre Arcand, Minister of International Relations and Minister responsible for La Francophonie, and Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, presented the Québec delegation that will take part in the Sixth Francophone Games. The delegation is made up of some 70 athletes and artists, who will represent Québec at the only international games where the province has the opportunity to be represented by its own team.

The Francophone Games will take place from September 27 to October 6 in Lebanon, which is set to welcome the youth of La Francophonie with open arms and enthusiasm. Québec, which boasts a large Lebanese community, has a special affection for this country.

The Francophone Games are unique for their combination of sporting and cultural events. Athletes will compete in seven disciplines: track & field, basketball, boxing, judo, soccer, table tennis, and beach volleyball. Artists will also compete in seven disciplines: song, storytelling, creative dance, literature, painting, photography, and sculpture.

Québec's voice in La Francophonie allows it to take part in international events and position and promote itself on the world stage. “I salute the athletes and artists acting as our ambassadors at this large gathering of youth. I hope that all members of the delegation take advantage of this opportunity to share the diversity of our cultures and pride in our language,” said Mr. Arcand.

Michelle Courchesne, Minister of Education, Recreation and Sports, said that “the Francophone Games provide us with an opportunity to present our greatest asset to the world – Québec's youth. There is so much talent and effort that will be displayed during the course of these ten days! I am therefore extremely proud to be associated with this major sporting and cultural event and wish all the athletes and artists representing us in Lebanon the very best of luck.”

“For Team Québec artists, the cultural competitions at the Francophone Games are a unique opportunity to promote their talent on the world stage and enrich the diversity of cultural expressions that coexist in the French-speaking world. I congratulate them all. I am convinced that this event, where young artists who share a common language and values have an opportunity to grow and learn, will be extremely rewarding for our delegation,” said Ms. St-Pierre.

The Francophone Games were created at the Francophone Summit in Québec City in 1987. They were subsequently held in Casablanca, Morocco, in 1989; Paris, France, in 1994; Antananarivo, Madagascar, in 1997; Ottawa and Hull, Canada, in 2001; and Niamey, Niger, in 2005.

To date, 51 of the 70 member and observer countries and governments of Organisation internationale de la Francophonie (OIF) have registered for the 2009 Francophone Games. This is the largest contingent since the 2001 Games held in Québec, where 52 countries and governments took part.

The Québec government's financial contribution to the Francophone Games delegation totals $588,200, including $250,000 from Ministère des Relations internationales, $225,000 from Ministère de l'Éducation, du Loisir et du Sport, and $113,200 from Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine.

For more information about the Québec delegation's results during the Games, please consult www.jeuxfrancophonie.gouv.qc.ca. (in French) and the Press releases section in English.

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