Everyone had some FrancoFUN at the French festival

There was FrancoFun for everyone during the 34th annual winter festival including at Saturday's Sugar Shack held in St. Mary's hall on Gillett Street.

The festival celebrating the language and culture of Francophones started Feb. 1 and concluded with the Sugar Shack activities that saw two seatings for brunch because of its popularity, featuring the traditional meat pie called tourtiere and offered a maple tart for a sweet treat to end the meal. Taffy on snow was offered as well.

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There were 250 tickets sold in advance for the event and more people were expected to attend.

Because of the severe cold wind and temperatures the outdoor activities were canceled and everyone came into the hall to listen to the Old Time Fiddlers and Le Pere Garneau et Les Rats d'Swompe while participating in the silent auction and dozens of raffle draws as part of the fundraising efforts for the Le Cercle des Canadiens Francais de Prince George Society, who organized the celebratory festival.

"It gives us a chance once a year to gather members in Prince George to celebrate being here,"

Michel Bouchard, president of the society, said. "This is to highlight our community and gives us a chance to open ourselves to the larger community because we want people to enjoy the language and culture with us and it's been a lot of fun."

Bouchard said there were other activities held during the festival including a movie, a concert and a meal for seniors at the Prince George Chateau but because of the cold the outdoor skating event had to be canceled.

Bouchard wanted to thank the many volunteers who took on all the roles during the organization of the festival, from the ticket takers to the cooks, and everyone in between.

Two of the volunteers and members of the society attending the Sugar Shack event were Veronique Hadikin and Sophie Cote, who both work for Ecole Franco Nord.

"The best part of this celebration is the music and meeting up with people that we don't get to see all the time," Hadikin said, who has been a long-time member of the society and is a former vice president.

Cote agreed that she really enjoys the music and said it was important to showcase the traditional sounds with everyone who attended the festival.

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