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Alberta's Francophone Heritage
Background, People, Culture, Heritage Community Foundation, Albertasource and Alberta Lottery Fund


Francophone Edukit

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Alberta’s Francophone community between 1960 and 1980

Francophone Communities and
their History




Edmonton’s French Quarters

1960 and 1980

The Franco-Albertan community
between 1982
and the year 2000


What are some of the major events that occurred in the Franco-Albertan community during the 1960 to 1980 period?
The Royal Commission on Bilingualism and biculturalism established by the Federal Government in 1963 had a great influence on the Franco-Albertan community. The Commission’s Book II Report on education (1968), recommended that parents be able to select the official language of their choice for the education of their children. It urged that minority language schooling be provided by all the provinces and it also recommended that Canada’s other official language be taught in all Canadian schools beginning at the elementary level. These recommendations led to the establishment of Canada’s popular immersion programs and to the inclusion of Section 23 dealing with Francophone education in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

In 1968, the Alberta School Act was amended to permit the use of French as a language of instruction in grades 3 through 12 for up to 50 % of the school day. In 1976, regulation 250 extended this number to 80% of the school day. This marked the beginning of French Immersion programs in Alberta.

In 1963, the Association des éducateurs bilingues de l’Alberta (established in 1946) helped organize the ATA specialist council for bilingual teachers known as the Conseil français which is still very active in 2005.

The Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta, (ACFA) abandonned the hope of establishing a private French television station in Alberta in 1958 and decided instead to support the CBC proposal which offered five hours of French programming per week.
In August of 1969, the CRTC approved a three year collaborative effort between the CBC and the Metropolitan Edmonton Education Television Association. This was a bilingual endeavor where MEETA ensured the English programming while the French programming originated from CBC’s Montreal studios. Three years later, CBXFT Channel 11, a new all-French television station functioning as an integral part of Radio-Canada’s French television services was in operation.

In 1961, CHFA, which was then a privately owned French radio station, opened its new studios in the second story of the La Survivance building. Ten years later, in November 1971, CBC Radio-Canada announced its intention to buy all of the private Francophone radio stations operating in Western Canada. The sale of CHFA was finalized in 1973 and the station was officially transferred to CBC on April 1st 1974. It is interesting to note that a few years later, the sale of the land on which the CHFA transmitter was located allowed the ACFA to establish a foundation which helped finance its many endeavors over the years.

In 1967, the French newspaper La Survivance adopted a new format and changed its name to Le Franco-Albertain. In 1975, de ACFA became the new owner of l’Imprimerie La Survivance and of the newly-named Le Franco-Ablertain.

The ACFA opened several new regional offices between 1960 and 1980 : Plamondon in 1978 and Lethbridge and Red Deer in 1980.

In 1972, the Franco-Albertan community decided to establish a French Credit Union in Edmonton, la Caisse Francalta which was officially opened on February 17, 1973.

Many other projects were realized in the French community during the twenty year period between 1960 and 1980 all of which underlined the community’s growing vitality and constant will to live "en français" in Alberta.


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