Left to right: Mr. Ken MacLeod (New Brunswick Youth Orchestra), Ms. Josée Poitras (École secondaire Népisiguit), the Hon. Herménégilde Chiasson, Lieutenant-Governor Province of New Brunswick, Mrs. Odette Snow, Co-Chair of Dialogue New Brunswick, Ms. Alison Carroll (Bathurst High School), Mr. Brian Murphy (individual) and Mrs. Carole Fournier, Executive Director of Dialogue New Brunswick.
Bathurst High School Student Council &
The student councils of Bathurst High School and École secondaire Népisiguit in Bathurst have worked together in the planning and presentation of numerous projects over the last decade or more. The two institutions have fostered and maintained a strong partnership in the spirit of cooperation and mutual support. Their success is proof that language does not at all have to be a barrier to making new friendships.
Students from the two schools have joined forces in organizing the annual Bay Breakfast event to raise funds for school activities. Young people from the schools have also cooperated on projects including a community walk to commemorate the shootings at the Polytechnique and street cleanup days in Bathurst.
These members of New Brunswick's youth are clearly aware of the importance of maintaining healthy relations between anglophones and francophones and of the positive effects of this in terms of greater understanding between the province's linguistic communities.
Brian Murphy, Member of Parliament for Moncton-Riverview Dieppe, has invested enormous stocks of personal energy over the years in bringing New Brunswick’s two major linguistic communities closer together.
He has said: “Learning another language is a gateway to knowledge – not just linguistic, but also cultural, attitudinal. It opens your mind to possibilities you would not have considered otherwise.”
As the mayor of Moncton in the late 1990s and early part of the current decade, he was instrumental in having his community declared, in 2002, Canada’s first officially bilingual city. During his tenure, he expanded cultural and social opportunities for both French and English-speaking citizens – efforts that included playing host to the francophone world during the sommet de la francophonie in 1999.
Mr. Murphy – who has been a frequent post-graduate French Immersion student at Université de Moncton, and agencies in Jonquiere, Quebec, and Quebec City – has been the New Brunswick President of the Canadian Unity Council (CUC). He remains an active champion of Moncton’s Alliance Française.
New Brunswick Youth Orchestra
The New Brunswick Youth Orchestra (NBYO) is a symphony orchestra featuring highly talented musicians between the ages of 12 and 22. Anglophone and francophone teachers hold auditions for the orchestra in their respective languages throughout the province to reach as many musicians as possible.
Also in keeping with recognition of the province's two linguistic communities, the orchestra introduces its musicians in both official languages. Volunteer parents and committee members ensure that all releases and other communications, from e-mail to the annual orchestra guides, are made available in both official languages.
The NBYO is made up of young anglophone and francophone men and women from urban and rural regions in all four corners of New Brunswick. The mission of the NBYO is to help its highly talented members to build their musical skills and develop through both learning and orchestral music performance.
The NBYO has been successful in conveying to members its principles of dialogue, values that have extended beyond Canada's borders. During a recent trip to Beijing, some young people served as interpreters. With their capacity to adapt to the new realities of growing globalization, organizations such as the NBYO demonstrate the promise of the future.