More than 1,200 provincial and territorial youth ambassadors will converge in Victoria next summer to participate in the eighth edition of the Canadian Francophone Games (CF Games).

The games are considered to be the largest gathering of Canadian French speaking youth in the country, with competitors ranging from 14 to 18 years old.

The teens will compete in more than 70 competitions across 13 disciplines, all with a focus on arts, leadership and sports.

Events in the arts competitions will consist of music, improvisation and visual arts and next year will see the addition of culinary arts. Meanwhile, the leadership category will focus on things like citizen engagement, public speaking and media. Lastly, the sporting events will include badminton, basketball, volleyball, ultimate Frisbee and, new to next year, sailing.

The CF Games will run for five days from July 14 to 18, 2020. Nearly 400 medals will be awarded over the course of the games.

According to organizers, the games provide opportunities to showcase culture, self-confidence and leadership in a friendly and competitive setting.

Games to bring millions to Victoria economy

The Francophone teens won’t be the only ones who benefit from the games, however. The Victoria economy is set to see a multimillion dollar boost for hosting the national event.

With the CF Games expected to draw 15,000 spectators and tourists on top of the 1,200 competitors, the economic benefits are projected to be close to four-million dollars over the five days of competition and cultural events.

Most of the events will take place in Oak Bay and Victoria, like at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club, Willows Park and the Crystal Gardens. Victoria School District 61 will also provide venues like Oak Bay High School and Willows Elementary.

The first Canadian Francophone Games were held in 1999 in New Brunswick and since then they have been staged every three years. The 2020 event in Victoria will be the first time that British Columbia has ever hosted the games.

Volunteers wanted

To run the CF Games smoothly, the local organizing committee is looking for more than 700 volunteers to help stage the games. Volunteers are needed for transportation services, food services, spectator and community services and participant services.

Everyone is invited to be involved as a volunteer, no matter their fluency in French.

There will be a “Volunteer Exclusive Pizza and Information Night” this Thursday, Oct. 24 at École Victor-Brodeur from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Organizers say that this is a chance to meet the Canadian Francophone Games' organizing team and to find out more about the many volunteer opportunities.

Anyone interested in volunteering should RSVP for the event, which includes an entry fee of $5.

For more information on the games, visit the Canadian Francophone Games website here