A successful first edition for AFIO's Joie de vivre festival
The energy was palpable at the Agora and the Plateau's Central Park during the Joie de vivre festival, set up by the organization Accompagnement des femmes immigrantes de l'Outaouais (AFIO). On September 24, several hundred visitors came to the festival site to see the many acts presented on the performance stage set up in the Agora for the occasion. More than 22 cultural communities were involved in the programming of the Joie de vivre festival and several performances had an interactive component, much to the delight of the crowd, which was able to dance, sing and move in the company of the presenters. About fifteen exhibitors dotted the short path between the performance stage and Central Park, where inflatable structures and attractions for the little ones were located during the festival.
Among the merchants, artisans and restaurateurs present (Marché JD, African Soul Food, BB Gâteaux), the Leucan Outaouais tent was clearly visible, as were numerous committees representing services available in the region (Collège La Cité, Service intégration travail de l'Outaouais, Conseil de la Communauté noire de Gatineau, Carrefour jeunesse emploi de l'Outaouais). Leucan, which helps children with cancer and their families, was chosen to receive a portion of the profits generated by the event. The first edition of the Joie de vivre festival clearly benefited from its unifying and jovial philosophy, as well as its partnership with several local associations (Association résidents Plateau, Partenaires du secteur Aylmer) and community organizations (L'Autre chez-soi, Centre Mechtilde, Regroupement des cuisines collectives de Gatineau). AFIO's dedicated presence on its social networks was also very effective: the organization filmed videos inviting people to the festival in seven different languages with the help of their visibly resourceful employees.
The first edition of the Joie de vivre festival, which aimed at intercultural rapprochement and the celebration of living together, did not go unnoticed on the political scene: in the midst of the election campaign, Liberal MP Dominique Anglade was at the Agora on September 24 to greet and exchange with local citizens. France Bélisle, mayor of Gatineau, also stopped by the Plateau sector following her morning appearance at the Fondation québécoise du cancer's Grand défoulement walk to visit the festival's attractions. Bettyna Bélizaire (Plateau District Councillor), Tiffany-Lee Norris Parent (Touraine District Councillor) and Alicia Lacasse-Brunet (Bellevue District Councillor) also visited the Joie de vivre Festival.
Photo caption: The Joie de vivre festival celebrations, organised by the AFIO
Photo credit: Sonia Roy