An international honour bestowed by the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie ) has been bestowed upon Cape Breton University professor Laurent Lavoie. Professor Lavoie is a recipient of the Ordre de la Pléiade. The honour recognizes the merits of people who have distinguished themselves in serving the ideals of ‘la Francophonie’, ideals that include the dissemination of French language and its cultural diversity. Lavoie will hold the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Pléiade.
Founded in 1967 in Luxembourg, the Assemblée parlementaire de la Francophonie (Parliamentary Assembly of the Francophonie or APF) brings together 73 parliaments and inter-parliamentary organizations in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas. It seeks to protect and promote democracy, the rule of law, human rights, and to allow the French language and cultural diversity to prosper around the world. Nova Scotia joined the APF as an observer in
1981, and has been an official member since 1989. The Americas region is comprised of 13 sections, including the Nova Scotia Section.
Recipients of the Ordre de la Pléiade can be appointed to one of the five classes: Grand Croix, Grand Officier. Commandeur, Officier, and Chevalier. The Grade de Chevalier can be awarded to any individual involved in political, social or literary affairs recognized by the APF for services rendered to the Francophonie.
“I was very surprised, honoured, and thankful to the “L’Ordre de la Pléiade” for this nomination,” says Lavoie. “This means that our work for the Acadians and Francophones everywhere in this country and especially in this province, and Island is officially recognized by an international ‘Ordre’; it is not only my contribution, but the people who provide their time and patience to this cause.”
For more than 25 years, Lavoie has contributed to la Francophonie through teaching, speaking, writing and advocating for French, and by leading projects that support this rich culture. He helped create the Moncton, N.B. based publishing house, les Editions de l’Acadie, and in 1983, he founded Le Comité Pour L’Éducation En Franҫais that helped open Centre Scolaire Étoile de l’Acadie in Sydney, where more than 250 students currently attend.
In addition to these accomplishments, Lavoie published books and articles on the Acadians, the theatre and other subjects including J.J. Rousseau. Globally, he has presented at international and national conferences on a range of francophone topics. As well, Lavoie has organized a number of conferences that focused on Francophone poetry, the Eighteenth Century, disappearing languages and theatre. He has also sat on academic boards of which the focus was to promote Francophone literature and culture.