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French-Canadian culture celebrated at Fort Langley festival

January 19, 2023

By Langley Advance Times

Fort Langley is about to look a lot more French than usual as the upcoming Vive les Voyageurs Festival prepares to come back for yet another year of French-Canadian fun.

Hosted by the Fort Langley National Historic Site, this annual festival, which has been absent since 2020, celebrates the area’s connection to French-Canadian and Métis culture through a variety of music, games, presentations, and tasty treats.

Jade Szymanksi, promotions officer of Fort Langley NHS, explained that many of the Huson’s Bay Company workers that once occupied Fort Langley were of French-Canadian or Métis origin and helped build up B.C.’s fur trade industry.

“Voyageurs transported furs between Fort Langley and other remote outposts, and also served as language interpreters for the fort’s trading activities,” said Szymanski.

“Today, there is a substantial community of Francophone people in British Columbia, as well as a strong interest in learning French, demonstrated by the high demand by parents for French Immersion in schools.”

The festival fill feature a wide variety of historical presentations, including beaver trapping techniques, spoon and jig demonstrations, and Métis moose hid coat presentations.

“Visitors can also indulge in traditional French-Canadian treats such as maple taffy from Maples’ Sugar Shack and poutine from Big Red’s Poutine food truck,” said Szymanski.

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