The Peace Country, and the province of Alberta, are steeped in Francophone history. According to the province, just under 87,000 residents of Alberta identified as having French as their mother tongue in the 2016 census, a 27 per cent increase from 2006. Many of Alberta’s first settlers were also French speaking, with many communities bearing French names, including Grande Prairie, Grande Cache and Rivière-la-Paix (Peace River).
The Peace Country also has two officially bilingual communities, those being Falher and Girouxville.
Kouadio is hoping to see plenty of people come celebrate at this year’s event, as she says there are many family-friendly events to take part in.
“Outside, we’re going to have a sleigh ride, eating the maple syrup on ice,” said Kouadio. “There will also be games, painting for kids, dancing. Inside (the pavilion) there will be a live performer, and there will also be face painting, and those kinds of things.”
The staple feature of the annual event is the maple taffy on snow. The traditional sweet treat comes from the community’s Quebec heritage, where maple sap is boiled beyond the point of turning into syrup, then poured over snow and lifted with a wooden stick.
The charge to attend is $5 per person, while children three and under can attend for free. A family of five can get in for $20.
The event runs on February 29, from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.