A unique and successful experiment in community development and tourism marketing, Experience Bathurst promotes all that the Bathurst region has to offer in a series 59 videos that convey authentic experiences, available and accessible, in a bilingual culture of mutual respect and linguistic harmony.
The project plays important roles – culturally, linguistically, economically – in fostering community development. Each video promotes an activity, an operator, or an experience that can be found in the Bathurst region and presents the information in both official languages in an entertaining way. Operators also use them to promote what they offer and to help train their staff.
As Experience Bathurst organizers say, “The videos serve as a subtle, yet effective, indicator that there is mutual linguistic respect among the people of this region, and an appreciation for the unique offerings each language presents. They are a positive weekly reminder that linguistic duality is thriving here, and we are extremely proud of the movement the project has created.”
As a member of numerous organizations committed to improving the conditions under which families and individuals survive in New Brunswick, Canada and abroad, Bernard Richard continues to be a tireless champion of cultural and linguistic diversity. A lawyer and former social worker, he is Chair of the Board of Directors of Plan Canada, which supports children in Third World countries, and Chair of a Working Group on children’s rights in Francophone countries.
Mr. Richard also served as a member of New Brunswick’s Legislative Assembly in roles as diverse as: Minister of State for Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Affairs; Acting Minister of Justice and Attorney General; Minister of Education and minister responsible for social policy renewal.
Between 2004 and 2011, he was New Brunswick Ombudsman and the province’s first Child and Youth Advocate. In these capacities he oversaw right-to-information and privacy issues and published numerous reports pertaining to youth mental health, First Nations child welfare and youth criminal justice system.
In January, Mr. Richard was appointed a Trudeau Foundation mentor for 2012. He is currently working with the Haiti Ombudsman to enhance the legal framework and independent oversight for children’s rights and child protection in that country.
Professor Robert Whalen
As an academic, educator, author and community organizer, Robert Whalen has inspired a generation of French- and English-speaking New Brunswickers. Born in Boiestown, and educated in Fredericton at the University of New Brunswick and, subsequently, in Paris at the Sorbonne, where he pursued graduate studies in the French language and literature.
Mr. Whalen was an early promoter and driving force behind the English Language Program (ELP), established at UNB in 1950. Now in its 62nd year, ELP specializes in English second language instruction to students from around the world, though it continues to attract most of its students from the Province of Quebec.
Within learned societies and other professional circles across Canada, he was a forceful advocate of Acadian and French Canadian literature, stimulating dialogue among experts within English language and French language university centres. In the mid-1960s, he served as a contributing researcher with the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism.
As one of his supporters eloquently testifies, “In his tireless and inspired life-long devotion to bridging the gap between our ʻtwo solitudesʼ, Professor Whalen clearly embodies an honorable citizen, one who exemplifies unwavering service, leadership and commitment to both his province and his country.”