OTTAWA… The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) is pleased to announce this year’s Public Education Advocacy Award is presented to Félix Saint-Denis, the creative mind behind L’écho d’un peuple, a mega show about the Franco-Ontarian history. The announcement was made today at the Federation’s Annual General Meeting currently underway in Ottawa.
The CTF Public Education Advocacy Award is presented annually to groups or individuals outside the teaching profession who have made major contributions to promote and support public education in Canada.
“For over 25 years, Félix Saint-Denis has been passionately committed to helping Francophone youth develop pride and learn about their history,” explains CTF President Mary-Lou Donnelly. “We are delighted to honor Félix’s exceptional contribution to the education of several generations of Francophones in Ontario and Canada.”
Nominated by the Association des enseignantes et des enseignants franco-ontariens (AEFO), Félix Saint-Denis has worked tirelessly to promote the French-Canadian culture in minority settings as creator, coauthor and artistic director of L’écho d’un people. Saint-Denis also produced small-scale interactive performances called Mini-Échos that reached about 50,000 students in more than 200 Franco-Ontarian schools. In addition, he produced three compilation albums featuring songs of pride, and directed short films on L’écho d’un people, which are available on YouTube. This cultural activities expert also conducts workshops on identity-building and training sessions for teachers.
As a cultural development officer with the Fédération de la jeunesse franco-ontarienne (FESFO) (Franco-Ontarian Youth Federation) from 1987 to 2001, Félix Saint-Denis worked for 15 years towards strengthening the cultural identity of thousands of French-speaking students in Ontario and elsewhere in Canada.
Donnelly adds: “The Canadian Teachers’ Federation highly values the contributions made by Félix who was the architect of our partnership with the FESFO, resulting in the production of the highly successful national cultural activities handbook and the musical compilation DEBOUT!.”
The CTF Public Education Advocacy Award has also been awarded to John Ralston Saul, author; Annie Kidder, People for Education in Ontario; Mary Gordon, founder of Roots of Empathy; Alfie Kohn, author; the Centre ontarien de prévention des agressions (COPA), an Ontario-based assault prevention centre; just to name a few.