CORNWALL, Ontario – The Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (ACFO) for SD&G welcomed dozens of new Canadians with a pizza and bowling party at Olympia Bowl on Saturday, Dec. 21, 2019.
“It was a real surprise to us to learn of all of the Francophone families moving here,” said Céline Baillgeron-Tardiff of ACFO.
Baillgeron-Tardiff estimated that there were around 120 people from 33 to 35 families who were invited to the event on Saturday.
Dianne Poirier, also of ACFO, said that connections were made with these new Canadians through Caribbean and African French organizations.
“A year ago we didn’t know most of these people. Some have been here only three weeks,” she said. “We said we could do an event with everyone and they said, let’s go bowling. Some of the guests today have never been bowling before.”
There were two special guests who dropped in to help celebrate the event, Santa Claus and Cornwall Mayor Bernadette Clement.
Clement praised the event as a great way to help new Canadians feel welcome in Cornwall.
“A lot of these connections has to do with families helping families,” she said.
One of the new Canadians who was at the bowling party was Yethaschedly Adam, who came to Canada in June from Haiti. In that time she has made strong connections in the community and has given birth to a now three-month-old baby.
“I adore Cornwall,” she said. “It is a very calm and welcoming community.”