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Bienvenue 2022! Welcome Back CFIS Célébration
CFIS Communications

On September 15th, 2022  — and after two years, six months, and three days — with open arms, in person, we said “Bienvenue” to the entire CFIS community at our Welcome Back Célébration. We laughed, hugged, ate and celebrated. At the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new parking lot and playing fields, we thanked multiple generous volunteers and donors who made those improvements possible. We listened to familiar and comforting voices speak from their hearts, and we welcomed new friends and families to our community. But most importantly, we were together.

It’s hard to articulate the tangible joy and collective warmth that was felt by everyone in attendance that night. We hope that by sharing with you some of the beautiful images captured and the kind words spoken, you will gain insight into how special it was to know we all embodied ‘Je suis CFIS.’

"It is an absolute joy to be able to welcome over 1,000 guests to our Célébration this evening. Having been unable to host this event for the past two years, on behalf of all of us at CFIS, I would like to say how much we have missed this and how happy we are to have our community back together again!”

Nicola Abrioux-Camirand, Interim Head of School

"Community building will be a major focus for the CFIS Society Board and administration this year. It is one of the central mainstays of CFIS, something that keeps families here year after year and genuinely sets our school apart. So I cannot think of a better time to be talking about community than today at this wonderful welcome back event. The Board knows that the last couple of years have been very difficult and is committed to re-establishing the connections that make CFIS so special.

Today, we gather not just to kick off the school year but also to celebrate the completion of a significant project — these amazing new playing fields and parking lot. What you see before you was ten years in the making and represents the fruits of intensely dedicated labour by the former Calgary International Language Foundation Board.  

Today, we have 117 additional new parking spots, dedicated drop-off and pick-up lanes, a safe pathway leading to the school, and new playing fields that can accommodate all kinds of active, engaging outdoor experiences for students. Adorning the perimeter of the new spaces is a collection of trees, many of which have been graciously supported by CFIS families. Thank you to everyone who participated in bringing to life this beautiful grove.”

Kate Bilson, CFIS Society Board Chair

"As I look around, I am thrilled to see so many students enrolled in a French immersion school. Parents, the choice of enrolling your child in the Calgary French & International School is an incredibly wise one. It is a decision that I hope many of you students will thank your parents for, if not today, then perhaps later in your lives. I, too, am proud to know multiple languages, with French being one of them. It has opened so many doors for me. Knowing French helps you communicate better and understand academia at a higher level. Learning new grammar and sound systems stimulates your brain to multitask, problem solve and adapt quicker. This will help you in all your subjects. Outside of academia, you will have a higher success rate in acquiring career opportunities. It will also allow you to work in global settings, and communication with other professionals will be enhanced. We can’t forget the fun part — travelling! Not only will you be able to travel easier with a second language, but it will enhance your ability to appreciate other cultures. The possibilities are endless when you attend a school as prestigious as Calgary French and International School."

Richard Pootmans, Ward 6 City of Calgary Councillor