17th Annual Fête du Cercle d’Or - Alliance Française de Milwaukee
Speech by Consul General of France Vincent Floreani on the occasion of the 17th Annual Fête du Cercle d’Or of the Alliance Française de Milwaukee.
(Milwaukee, September 13, 2015)
Dear Kathy and Tom Nieman,
Dear Anne Leplae,
First of all, I would like to thank Kathy and Tom Nieman for hosting this “Soirée à la Campagne” – Merci beaucoup.
It’s a great privilege to be able to gather in this country house, the Nieman Haus, an historic estate, listed on the National Register of historic places, with stained glass windows and wrought iron fixtures.
Thank you to all the sponsors of this 17th annual Fête du Cercle d’Or.
Thank you also to all the board of Directors of the Alliance Française, and to the President, Mr. John Gaebler.
My wife Christine and I are delighted to be back this year for this important event.
Congratulations to Mrs. Anne Leplae. You are doing a remarkable job in implementing the mission of the Alliance Française de Milwaukee, which is to “promote, share and enjoy the culture, language and friendship of the French speaking world”.
This Alliance Française is one of the most dynamic in North America. Under your direction, it plays a central role in the promotion of French language and Francophone culture in Milwaukee and in Wisconsin.
You actually help me to achieve some of my top priorities which are to further deepen the relation and mutual understanding between the Midwesterners and France.
It is particularly important here, as Wisconsin has a very rich French heritage. The first mayor of Milwaukee was Solomon Juneau, a Frenchman. Last July, you showed me his statue on the beautiful shore of the lake.
I was in Milwaukee for Bastille Days and witnessed your Alliance Française at the heart of the largest July 14 Celebration in North America, attracting more than 200,000 visitors in a 4-day period.
Thanks to you, to the board, to the friends of Alliance, the Alliance Française de Milwaukee offers a wide range of cultural activities, including a French Film Series with films from award-winning French directors
I would also like to congratulate you for having developed a strong partnership with the University of Wisconsin, especially with the French Film Festival and the Milwaukee International Film Festival.
Your Language Center offers a high-quality French instruction. With over 900 students, it is the only language school in Wisconsin dedicated to the instruction of French. You are often one of our partners for the training sessions we organize for French teachers.
None of these achievements would be possible without the outstanding dedication and generous contributions of all the sponsors and friends. This perfectly illustrate the ideal of cultural exchange and French-American friendship.
Thank you very much.