Published January 10, 2017
BY NSN STAFF
Resident Michèle Alderton says it took a village to launch an initiative geared to bringing together francophone residents in the community.
In 2014, Alderton created the Association Francophone de Red Lake (AFRL) and it is this effort that earned her the 2017 North Western Ontario Francophone Personality Award, presented last month in Thunder Bay.
“It is truly an honor for me to receive such a prestigious award,” said Alderton after receiving the news of the win from the Association des francophones du Nord-Ouest de l’Ontario (AFNOO).
“I would like to share this award with a group of Francophone women from Red Lake who each day motivates me with their passion, dedication, friendship and sense of humor. Be aware that this prize belongs to you as much as to me.”
Alderton was unable to attend the ceremony in Thunder Bay on Dec. 13, however, her son Nick accepted on her behalf. She says she is thankful to have had the support of the AFNOO throughout the three years the group has been in operation.
The 2017 North Western Ontario Francophone Personality Award, given every five years, intends to recognize a person who, through his or her volunteer work or paid work, have excelled, have shown great initiative and have made a remarkable contribution to the development of the Francophone community in the North West.
Since its inception the local francophone association hosted the first winter carnival in 2015 and launched a community play presentation in March 2017 as well as hosts monthly storytelling hours and dinners to support the enhancement of the French language in the community.
“Michèle has succeeded, through her commitment and her collaborations, to make the Francophone community flourish in the Red Lake region,” said Donald Pelletier, president of AFNOO last month. “Her work has highlighted the Francophonie while creating links with the native people and the Francophiles of Red Lake.”
Ms. Alderton succeeds Claire Drainville (2012), Angèle Brunelle (2009), Denyse Culligan (2002) and Gaston Dufour (1997) as recipient of the North Western Ontario Francophone Personality Award.