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Brian Murphy was Moncton's mayor when the city became officially bilingual. (Radio-Canada)

The City of Moncton is continuing to celebrate its 10th anniversary of becoming officially bilingual.

Brian Murphy was the mayor at the time and says the declaration in 2002 was meant to go beyond legislation that required services in both languages, and to celebrate the opportunities that come with being a bilingual city.

"There was a two-way opening of the two communities towards the idea of bilingualism and the benefits of bilingualism so that English language students could stay in Moncton and go to the University of Moncton and have special treatment," he said.

Moncton was Canada's first city to become officially bilingual.

"I felt it was important to put the symbolism in the window so that the francophone minority really felt that this was something behind them," Murphy said.

"That's the way they felt that night ... and that we could look forward and ... we could jointly recognize that being bilingual makes us different that any other city in Atlantic Canada, perhaps Canada itself, and was an asset."

According to the city's website, 62 per cent of Moncton citizens identify themselves as anglophones and 32 per cent are francophones.

Murphy commemorated the milestone in July by reading the declaration at a city council meeting.

The City of Moncton is celebrating tonight with a concert at City Hall.