PEI’s bilingual businesses urged to use French signage to benefit from additional tourist traffic
SUMMERSIDE – April 4, 2019 – The Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI and its parent organisation, RDÉE Prince Edward Island, are encouraging all PEI businesses that offer services in both of Canada’s official languages to put up French signage to attract a greater number of francophone customers.
“We’re being told that the celebrations of the 2019 Congrès mondial acadien (World Acadian Congress) will be bringing tens of thousands of additional French-speaking visitors from one end of the Island to the other this summer, so now is the time to prepare to welcome all of these people into our communities but also into our businesses – especially those that offer services in French,” says Raymond J. Arsenault, the Acadian Chamber’s events coordinator.
“Francophone visitors tend to prefer being served in their mother tongue, but they won’t know that you offer services in French unless you tell them through your signage,” he adds. “We therefore encourage you to get French or bilingual signage to advertise your hours of operation, your products and services and all other aspects of your business that could attract new customers.”
To help businesses get ready, Pierre Gallant, owner of HMS Office Solutions in Summerside, is offering a vast array of signs in both languages so that businesses can post their hours of operation or indicate when they’re open or closed, where their washrooms and fitting rooms are located, where fire extinguishers can be found, which rooms are private, etc. Business can choose signs of various formats, including electronic, plastic or cardboard.
HMS carries a small selection in its Water Street store but its main supplier, Hamster, is based in Quebec and therefore has access to a vast array of signs. Usually, signs can be ordered and delivered within a day or two. The selection of signs can be seen at http://hmsoffice.ca.
Arsenault encourages all businesses and residents to decorate their commercial and personal properties in bright Acadian colors (red, white, blue and yellow) this summer to show their pride and support of the Congrès mondial acadien.
“A number of PEI artisans and handcraft shops, such as the Abram-Village Handcraft Co-op, offer a wide array of Acadian flags and other similar decorations. Management of the Island’s six Great Canadian Dollar Stores have also said they’ll be offering a considerable inventory of Acadian flags, decorations and promotional items in the months leading up to the summer of 2019. Various other stores also carry this type of merchandise to help us show our colors.”
Martin Marcoux, president of RDÉE PEI (the provincial francophone economic development council), joins various other stakeholders of the Island’s Acadian community to encourage businesses, residents and municipalities to beautify their properties as much as possible so that Acadian pride can be spotlighted from all perspectives. Sometimes, a new coat of paint or a couple of spotlights can make a big difference.
Events related to the Congrès mondial acadien will literally be held from Tignish to Souris in August.
CUTLINE: Pierre Gallant, owner of HMS Office Solutions in Summerside, shows a nice electronic LED sign that he sells to help francophone and bilingual businesses show visitors they offer services in French.
For more information:
Raymond J. Arsenault
Acadian and Francophone Chamber of Commerce of PEI
1-902-854-3439, Ext. 231
HMS Office Solutions