Alliance Française de Chicago - Annual Gala Evening
Chicago (IL), May 14th, 2016. Welcome remarks by Consul General of France Vincent Floreani on the occasion the annual Gala evening of the Alliance Française de Chicago.
Welcome to all of you.
Christine et moi sommes très heureux d’être avec vous ce soir.
We are delighted to be here with you.
The Alliance Française de Chicago means a lot to us.
This is the most active in the nation, with the Alliance in New York, in promoting the French language and the French culture.
Established 120 years ago, it has become an institution in Chicago. Everybody knows the Alliance française.
It is remarkable how you the Alliance succeeded in diversifying its activities in order to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds, from French classes and academic conferences to cinema and cooking classes.
The Alliance is not only helping the consulate in deepening the cultural and linguistic links between France and Chicago, it is also one of our strongest partners in important projects.
We just had the French Innovation Week in Chicago. Several of the events were held at the Alliance française.
In October, we’ll organize the second annual of “A la Carte Chicago”, to promote French cuisine and wines. Once again, the Alliance française is a major organizer of this exciting food week.
The Alliance Française de Chicago is not only important for France. It is also the flagship of the francophone community. All the francophones from Canada, Belgium, Haiti, Switzerland and other countries gathered every year there for the festival de la francophonie.
I would also like to mention the Alliance française’s role in Chicago, in particular through its outreach program. The program has been in existence since 1998 and you will see later tonight how it has changed young people’s lives. My wife Christine truly enjoys visiting with the students and helping with the “goûter”. Thank you, Francine Saltoun, for this wonderful program.
Not to forget “Chez Kids Academy” that offers classes and activities for kids from 2 years up through teens. This center center helps raise a new generation of bilingual future citizens, future builder of the France-American special relation.
These activities wouldn’t be possible without the dedication of the Alliance’s Executive Director, Jack Mc Cord, and all the staff and teachers. They deserve a round of applause.
It wouldn’t be possible without the commitment of the board. Thank you, Hervé de la Vauvre. Thank you, all board members and of course Thank you to the Woman’s Board for this wonderful evening.
Finally, the Alliance wouldn’t be so dynamic, so respected in Chicago without your strong support. I would like to tell you how grateful I’m for you being here and for your help to our common Alliance.