Bilingualism and business

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Eastern Kings business owners invited to symposium

Graham Fraser, commissioner of official languages.

SOURIS —Businesses in the Eastern Kings area, particularly those associated with the tourism sector, are being invited to attend the “Bilingualism in Business - The Bilingual Advantage” Symposium Tuesday, March 5.

The symposium will inform businesses how they can learn to draw greater benefit from the 75,000 francophone tourists who pass by their front doors every year.

The free symposium, to be held in the Eastern Kings Sportsplex at 203 Main Street, Souris, from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., will feature a number of high-profile speakers. The special guest will be the commissioner of official languages, Graham Fraser, who will address the group over lunch.

Jeannette Arsenault, co-owner of Cavendish Figurines and spokeswomamn for the Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce, will discuss the value and bottom-line benefits of offering services in both official languages in tourism businesses such as hers.

As well, a round-table discussion will take a look at the roadblocks and opportunities for business considering offering bilingual services. A panel of guests will also answer participants’ questions and address their concerns, while offering on-the-spot advice and assistance.

The event is being organized by a number of partners from the Eastern Kings area who are interested in economic development: the Town of Souris, Active Communities Inc., the Rural Action Centre in Souris, Island East Tourism Group and the CAFÉ (the Eastern Acadian and Francophone Committee).

Joining them are Canadian Parents for French P.E.I., RDÉE Prince Edward Island and the Government of P.E.I., including Innovation P.E.I. and the Acadian and Francophone Affairs Secretariat.

A news release promoting the event says offering bilingual service is smart business.

“To be successful, businesses must be ready to deliver exceptional customer service that meets and surpasses the expectations of all customers. To be able to keep or expand their market share, businesses everywhere are broadening their capacity to transact business with a wider variety of clients. Here in PEI, businesses are experiencing the many economic benefits of being able to serve clients in both of Canada’s official languages.”

The symposium will be held entirely in English. Lunch will be provided. The storm date is March 6 at the same place and time.

Those interested in attending must reserve their free spot by Feb. 15 by contacting Gail Lecky at (902) 368-3703. Questions can be addressed either to Gail Lecky or to Valerie Flynn at the Rural Action Centre (902) 687-4084.

Organizations: Rural Action Centre, Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce, Active Communities Island East Tourism Group Eastern Acadian and Francophone Committee Acadian and Francophone Affairs Secretariat

Geographic location: Eastern Kings Sportsplex, 203 Main Street, RDÉE Prince Edward Island Canada

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Recent comments

  • East Coast Girl
    January 13, 2013 - 19:57

    There isn't enough money in the Eastern part of P.E.I. to support our hospitals or schools, but PLEASE send us money to promote the bilingualism. My Lord, if I have ever heard of a load of bull - this is it! Our poor children won't have a healthy building to educate them, but darn it all they'll be able to speak French. That will for sure get them somewhere (out of P.E.I.) if nothing else.

  • Goodforbusiness
    January 13, 2013 - 19:41

    To Voter..... Bilingual employees are assets to any business, especially on PEI where many bilingual tourists come from Quebec, New Brunswick and the Magdalen Island. Further education that will benefit a business and increase growth is never a waste of money!

  • johnny cash
    January 13, 2013 - 19:01

    No doubt to be labeled a bigot but "voter" you are right,way to much spent on foolishness.

  • voter
    January 13, 2013 - 17:25

    a lot of money is being wasted on bilingualism --it will soon be time to speak out against such foolishness