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Halifax’s haven of French language and culture

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Photo: Kim Hart Macneill

Photo: Kim Hart Macneill

Alliance Française is a little francophone haven in Halifax’s Hydrostone Market on Young Street.

Part of an international network founded in 1883 and operating in 136 countries, the French cultural and language hub has been au courant in Halifax since 1903.

“First it was a cultural centre, then it became a language centre,” says Lucy Taussig, Alliance Française Halifax’s communications and cultural officer.

Now, it’s mainly a language centre that administers fluency tests and offers courses to young and old; from kids whose parents want them to upgrade their French to get into the Acadian school, or retirees looking to try something new.

Last year, about 800 to 900 people took language classes, which provide the non-profit with its main source of revenue. Alliance Française also promotes French culture and each month hosts the screening of a French film from France or Canada (with English subtitles in case you want to bring a friend). “We also have a book club that takes place every month,” Taussig says. “We try to put some French in every aspect of the city.”

If you become a member, you can get access to their library and borrow books, DVDs, or CDs. “Membership is open to everyone, you don’t have to be one of our students,” Taussig says.

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