On June 12, 2013, State Representative Bill LaVoy (D-Monroe) introduced a resolution declaring Oct. 4 as French-Canadian Heritage Day in Michigan. The Québec Government Office in Chicago actively took part in Michigan’s first French-Canadian Heritage Day by organizing a series of public programs celebrating French-Canadian heritage in the Midwest.
From left to right: Bill LaVoy, Michigan State Representative, 17th House District, Eric Marquis, Quebec Representative to the Midwest, Andrea Lafontaine, Michigan State Representative, 32nd House District
In Lansing, the Quebec Representative to the Midwest, Éric Marquis, gave a speech to more than 60 legislators & staffers entitled “Québec and Michigan: A Shared History, A Common Future.” The event was a unique occasion for the Québec Representative to meet with key legislators (Speaker Pro Tempore of the House, Presidents and Ranking Members of the main legislative committees) and share information on areas of common interest. Michigan is one of Quebec’s closest partners in the Midwest region, working together on issues related to investment, economic development and the environment.
In Monroe and Detroit, the Québec Government Office in Chicago organized, along with the Centre de la Francophonie des Amériques and the Monroe County Historical Museum, a series of conferences by Geography professor Dean Louder. Dr. Louder is one of the foremost specialists on the francophone diaspora in the United States. By relating his own story which took him from the U.S. to Canada/Québec, Dr. Louder highlighted the French Canadian experience in the United States, based upon his travels to a multiplicity of culturally diverse Franco communities which owe their existence, in part, to Canada/Québec. The conferences drew local residents of Monroe and Detroit/Windsor who, for the most part, had a French-Canadian background and were interested to learn more about it.
The Québec Government Office in Chicago was delighted to take part in the first French-Canadian Heritage Day in Michigan and is planning on repeating the experience next year.