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


Francophone Edukit

Angel Spacer
Le Franco

L'Ouest Canadien

Le Franco

Le Courrier de l'ouest

Le Progrès

CKRP Radio

CHFA Radio



The weekly newspaper, Le Franco, was born from La Survivance, a paper which was established in Edmonton in1928 for the French-speaking community of Alberta1. The publication became Le Franco-Albertain in 1967, and more recently, simply Le Franco.

A French language independent weekly had existed in Edmonton since 1917, but when the province-wide Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta (ACFA) was established in December 1925, the paper included only four pages. By 1928, the owner of the paper, Pierre Féguenne (originally from Belgium) saw so much space being used for what he thought ought to be paid advertising and refused to publish the ACFA’s announcements and news. Faced with this ultimatum, the ACFA perceived no other alternative but to launch its own newspaper. The ACFA received financial backing from the Oblate missionaries, who were publishing several foreign language papers for various Catholic ethnic groups in the West.

L’Union, which was considered by the prestigious Le Devoir to be one of the 10 top French weekly papers in Canada, tried to overcome this blow, but Féguenne finally sold his paper to the ACFA in April of 1929. The publication existed for 11 years which were particularly difficult for the French community in Alberta, in both a political and religious sense. Unfortunately, less than a quarter of the issues of L’Union have been conserved.

In spite of its stormy beginnings, La Survivance developed a lasting readership and published articles of interest to French-Canadians in Alberta. The front page usually covered the important news of the day, be that national or international, with information and columns of interest to farmers, women and children. The editors were very careful to cover problems that the French parishes were going through, in that English-speaking clergymen were replacing the francophone oblates, a situation which was being brought in directly from the bishop’s see. The editorial policy toed the line taken by the Quebec clergy concerning the Pétain government in exile during the Second World War and openly denounced those who supported De Gaulle’s Free French movement. In spite of such policies, the editors did their best to reach the Franco-Albertans who were mostly rural in origin at that time. The paper participated in all the highlights of the Franco community including the launch of French language radio in Alberta, CHFA in 1949, after a long fight to obtain permission from the CRTC.

The paper was rejuvenated with a change in name in 1967, and bought out by the ACFA in 1977, when it became Le Franco. Currently, the paper has a weekly circulation of 12,000 and answers to the needs of the French-speaking population in Alberta.


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