2016 Recipients |

2016 Recipients

Centre international d'apprentissage du français (CIAF)

The Centre international d’apprentissage du français specializes in teaching French as a Second Language and language proficiency training. The CIAF embodies the spirit of getting to know each other through experiential learning. Since its inception in 2001, the organization has understood the value of individuals communicating their culture and traditions while practicing another language. Students participating in the programs offered by CIAF also have the opportunity to learn about local culture, traditions, and values while practicing active listening and communication with individuals from the local community – in their second language.

In 2012, as a response to demand from its clientèle, CIAF added English second language training to their programs. The Centre is located at l’Université de Moncton – Campus de Shippagan with satellite offices in Moncton, Fredericton and Saint John. The Centre relies on a team of thirty professors located throughout the province.

Since the beginning, the CIAF has been a catalyst for strengthening social cohesion by fostering positive exchanges between anglophone and francophone communities in New Brunswick. Every summer, the CIAF offers pedagogical training for teachers of French as a second language in collaboration with the New Brunswick Department of Education and Early Childhood Development.

With over 700 students per year, it is clear that the CIAF’s strength and success is found in their approach to teaching mutual understanding of not only languages but cultures as well, leading to a greater sense of appreciation and respect for all.

Mr. Gerald "Gerry" Cormier (posthumously)

(Mr. Cormier's family accepting the award in his honour) 

As first Acadian and Francophone elected mayor of the City of Miramichi, Mr. Gerald “Gerry” Cormier showed promise and great ambition. Mr. Cormier had an innate ability to bring people together that benefited everyone in the Miramichi area during his long career in politics. His life’s work was dedicated to fostering collaboration in order to improve the quality of life for all those around him. As mayor, one of Mr. Cormier’s most noticeable achievements was the successful pursuit of having the City of Miramichi - with a majority anglophone population - join the Association Francophone des Municipalités du Nouveau-Brunswick in 2013. He also created a French Service Coordination position at the City to facilitate outreach and to ensure equal services to both official language communities.

Mr. Cormier’s kind-hearted nature and his friendly demeanour empowered him to bring everyone together to celebrate the region’s rich linguistic and cultural diversity. His genuine love and respect for diversity as well as his passion for Miramichi’s prosperity made him a master at harnessing strengths and building positive relationships that would benefit his fellow citizens.

The most remarkable quality of Mr. Cormier is that he brought a divided city together because he knew it was the right thing to do – without ever seeking credit or personal recognition for his efforts. Mr. Cormier passed away in June 2016, but his legacy will continue to impact the lives of generations to come.

The Honourable Frank McKenna

(Mr. James McKenna accepting the award on behalf of his father)

Throughout his career, the Honourable Frank McKenna has personified the values of mutual respect, understanding and appreciation. His upstanding leadership in the field of provincial language rights as well as his creativity in building bridges between our province’s two official language communities, embody the best that New Brunswick has to offer.

As Premier of New Brunswick, Mr. McKenna demonstrated - and continues to demonstrate - political courage, thoughtful leadership and engaged citizenship with respect to official bilingualism which ultimately strengthened the province’s social cohesion through the promotion and celebration of shared understanding, respect, and appreciation. He has been a champion in helping New Brunswickers, and the world, to realize that our bilingual workforce is an immeasurable asset. His efforts yielded thousands of new jobs as major corporations consolidated teleservices into large contact service centres that settled in New Brunswick – a perfect match between industry, human capital and communities. Supporters credit Mr. McKenna with giving New Brunswickers a renewed sense of purpose and optimism through his relentless conviction that New Brunswick is an excellent place to do business and to invest - and by always promoting our bilingual nature.

This visionary leader from Apohaqui, New Brunswick learned French as a second language later in life because he understood the importance of languages in a forward focused economy. He has always led by example and clearly continues to be an honourable leader committed to linguistic and cultural harmony.

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