For the Francophone community of Alberta, the Franco-Albertan
youth represents the future and the survival of the community.
Over the years, the establishment and maintenance of youth
organizations have therefore been one of the community’s major
A great many different youth groups developed over the years.
One of the first was l’Association catholique de la jeunesse
canadienne-française (ACJC) who was first created in Quebec in
1904 and established in Alberta in 1913. Local chapters of
l’ACJA were called "les cercles". The main goal of the
association was to encourage its members to work for the
survival of the French language and culture. In July 1933,
during the Association’s national conference, Alberta’s Cercle
Bellarmin, whose work had been ranked as the best in the country
for that year, was awarded the Vanier Trophy, the ACJC’s highest
During the annual conference of the Association
canadienne-française de l’Alberta (ACFA) held in Falher in April
1932, Léo Belhumeur de ACFA’s general secretary invited a number
of young delegates to participate. These delegates were quick to
suggest the creation of a separate youth group. This marked the
establishment of the Avant-garde. In 1834, the group’s work
included a monthly publication of La Survivance des jeunes which
was included in the French newspaper of the time, La Survivance.
In Decembre 1925, five young girls formed the group Les
Bonnes Amies whose goal was to promote the well-being of the
young women of the francophone community in Edmonton and to
encourage the use of French. More than 70 young Francophone
women from the city were present at the first meeting. The group
will be very active for more than 25 years. Les Jeunes Canadiens
a group of young men was created the same year and shared the
goals of Les Bonnes Amies.
The Francophone Scout movement of Edmonton was first created
in 1935 and the first Girl Guides were established in May 1937.
In November 1973, the Scouts established an official Francophone
district in Alberta.
La Relève Albertaine was probably one of the more successful
provincial youth group. The idea was first presented by the
Association des éducateurs bilingues de l’Alberta (AEBA) in
1935. More than 300 delegates participated in the first
provincial conference held at Collège Saint-Jean in 1954. More
than 600 young Francophones attended the 1956 conference also
held at Saint-Jean. But this success was short lived. The
association disappeared in 1959 because of unfortunate
circumstances that have never been completely explained.
Although La Relève Albertaine was a tough act to follow, a
group of young people from Edmonton created Le Comité des jeunes
in 1965. Amongst their contribution was the creation of
Alberta’s first Boîtes à chanson which was very popular in
Quebec at the time. As with La Relève, the Comité des jeunes
disappeared and was replaced in 1969 by Jeunactualité who also
Established in 1972, Francophonie Jeunesse de l’Alberta (FJA)
will prove to be one of the most important youth groups of the
Franco-Albertan community. It will participate in many of the
community’s major activities included L’Affaire Piquette in
1987. FJA is still working with Alberta’s Francophone youth in