An image of a family from Belgium (a man and a woman with their three children) who immigrated to Canada and settled in Clare in front of St. Mary's Bay.

It all began when Marie and Tanguy, a couple originally from Belgium, took a family vacation to Canada.

Amazed by Canadian hospitality, the idea of moving to Canada was still on their minds a few years later. It was then that Marie attended an information session entitled "Destination Acadie", where she met a representative from the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial (CSAP). Intrigued by the possibility of employment in such a welcoming new country, the couple decided to begin the immigration process. A few months later, Marie received confirmation that her position would be in the Acadian region of St. Mary's Bay.

However, it wasn't as simple as booking a plane ticket and flying to Canada. The family encountered several obstacles along the way. Fortunately, settling into their new community became much easier when the family met Marcel, manager of the Rendez-vous de la Baie Visitor Centre and responsible for welcoming services as part of the Welcoming Francophone Community (WFC) initiative. The WFC initiative represents 14 Canadian communities, including Clare, and aims to support French-speaking newcomers so that they feel welcome in their new community. Thanks to the WFC initiative, Marcel was able to facilitate this family's arrival, notably by helping them find accommodation, providing them with tools and resources to familiarize themselves with their new community, and establishing their first contacts with locals.

For Marie and Tanguy, it was important to settle in a rural, French-speaking community. Firstly, so that they could continue to flourish in French, but also because this path could lead to a wider range of permanent immigration options. The Municipality of Clare was as welcoming as Marie and Tanguy had hoped, perhaps even more so. The couple said that everyone has been very welcoming since their arrival, from individuals to organizations and businesses. Marie and Tanguy confessed that they felt so welcome here that they didn't feel any sense of loss. Marie attests that "immigration isn't always easy [...] so being welcomed changes everything". Marie and Tanguy's story is a testament to our unique and welcoming culture, and we look forward to sharing it with newcomers in the future.