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Embrace the joy of living: West Kootenay Francophone fest goes May 25

Francophone association ready to celebrate the long-awaited event
The May 25 event is themed around the Francophonie, including a costume contest, live music, and a European-style market. Sign up for scavenger hunt starting Saturday, May 18. Photo: Unsplash

The West Kootenay Francophone Association (AFKO) is set to celebrate the long-awaited YÉ DAY FEST.

The event features an interactive and family-friendly challenge zone themed around the Francophonie, a scavenger hunt through the shops of Rossland, a costume contest, live music, circus performances, and a European-style market.

YÉ DAY FEST will take place on Saturday, May 25, on Spokane Street and Esling Park in Rossland from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“YÉ DAY FEST promises an unforgettable experience for participants,” explains Mélanie Mercier, event coordinator. “Picture a giant poutine catapult, a comedic duel with French baguettes, a maple syrup target challenge, a climbing tower resembling the Eiffel Tower, all while an accordionist plays in the park.

“You don’t need to speak French, just be ready to embrace the joy of living.”

The most unique and original element of the YÉ DAY FEST event consists of a three-parts game.

For each successfully completed part, participants have a chance to submit their team name for a chance to win a variety of prizes offered by partners.

The obstacle zone is the heyday of the game.

It’s open to all, from ages six and up, regardless of language spoken. Teams of two members will have 10 challenges to complete.

This part of the event costs only $8 per person, so you don’t necessarily have to pay to win.

Second part: search for the 10 hidden clues representing the 10 challenges in shop windows of participating businesses starting May 18.

Your name will be entered into the lottery a second time.

On the day of YÉ DAY FEST, come dressed in attire/costume/accessories that remind you of Francophonie.


Dare to parade the red carpet at 3:30 p.m. on May 25. Receive a third chance to slip your name into the draw.

“We are thrilled to bring together the community, Anglophones and Francophones alike, to celebrate what makes our culture so unique and joyful,” adds Eloïse Speleers, also an event coordinator at AFKO.

Find all the rules on the YÉ DAY FEST official passport at participating stores, including: Curiosity Clothing Boutique, Mountain Nugget Chocolate company, Rossland Lumber, Revolution cycle, Rossland Beer Company, The Old Cellar, the Rooted Table Collective, Goldrush Bookstore, Ferraro Foods.

The small French market where you can find local artisans, Quebecois or French-origin food, and performances of Francophone and local music from the West Kootenay is open to all for free from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The AFKO Sérigraphie studio is also coming out to give guests a live demonstration of this printing process, which can be used to personalize any flat surface — so bring a t-shirt!

YÉ DAY FEST is a unique opportunity for the Rossland community and beyond to immerse themselves in Francophone culture.

This event is not just about celebrating French language and culture; it’s about embracing art, sports, and joy.

It’s a first edition of a one-of-a-kind concept not to be missed.

Join YÉ DAY FEST for a day filled with laughter, games, and French-style festivities.

Register online at or on-site, May 25, on Spokane Street starting from 1 p.m.

About AFKO

Founded in 1986, the Association des francophones des Kootenays Ouest (AFKO) is committed to promoting the French language and Francophone cultures in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia. Through community events, educational workshops, and cultural initiatives, AFKO aims to unite and represent Francophones and Francophiles while celebrating the diversity of Francophone cultures.

Contact:Mélanie Mercier and Eloïse Speleers, Event Coordinators

Phone: 613-697-2888 / 250-352-3516



Jim Bailey

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