The long-running Brock-Niagara French Contest/le Concours de français Brock-Niagara, created in 1978, provides about 150 local high school students with a chance to put their French language skills to the test.
At the annual event, Grade 11 and 12 students from 13 Niagara high schools take part in five different language activities in one of three language categories designed to test their know-how of the Romance language.
This year’s contest takes place Wednesday, May 8 at Brock University.
Faculty members from the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Brock, as well as representatives from the District School Board of Niagara (DSBN) and the Niagara Catholic District School Board (DCDSB) organize the event.
Student volunteers from Brock act as French language student monitors for the contest, and also provide participants with campus tours of the University.
“This important event, linking Brock with the Niagara community, requires year-long preparation,” says contest co-ordinator Astrid Heyer, an assistant professor of French at Brock. “The chance to interact with Brock students who study French at the University offers high school students some insight into what campus life is like.”
The daylong event kicks off with opening ceremonies at 8 a.m. in Thistle 247. The contest runs throughout the day with a break for lunch followed by a francophone play, “Les trois mousquetaires” by the Dufflebag Theatre Company in Thistle 325.
The concluding prize ceremony begins at 2 p.m. in Pond Inlet. Major category winners will receive monetary prizes made possible through the generosity of Brock University and the School Boards, as well as local businesses and community organizations, many of which represent the Francophone community in Niagara.