Francophone festival bringing sweet treats to Smithers’ ski hill

Skiers and snowboarders will have the chance to indulge in a sweet, traditional French treat at Hudson Bay Mountain Ski Resort for Franco-fun Ski Day on March 4.

The Association des Francophones et Francophiles du Nord-Ouest (AFFNO) will be offering fan-favourite, maple taffy on the snow, by donation, Patrick Witwicki, executive director at AFFNO said. Also, as part of the fun, they will be giving away prizes and musician Will Stroet will be performing a live show at the Whiskey Jack Lounge after 3:30 p.m.

Stroet is a children’s entertainer but plays all types of music and is a blast for everyone, Witwicki said. He sings in both French and English and was nominated for a JUNO in 2017.

He is stopping by Hudson Bay Mountain as part of a northwest tour.

AFFNO’s mission is to unite French-speakers and French-lovers in B.C.’s northwest in order to promote the French language and culture.

The Franco-fun Ski Day is one way the group hopes to connect with residents of the Bulkley Valley.

“… coming out of the pandemic, we lost a bit of contact with former members and we’ve probably missed families that have moved, not just to Smithers but the northwest in general,” Witwicki said.

“So events like this festival give us the opportunity to get our name out there and reconnect. So people know there is someone [they] can call if [they] need help with French.”

A few years ago, AFFNO worked with a group of parents in Smithers to start a Francophone school in the community, Witwicki said.

Kaitlyn Bailey, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Prince Rupert Northern View