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Alberta Online Encyclopedia
Arts and Culture
Community organizations are an important tool for minority groups hoping to resist the overwhelming forces of cultural assimilation. Since 1925, the Association canadienne-francaise de l'Alberta (ACFA) has served as the guardian of French culture in Alberta. Over the decades, the ACFA and its members have dipped their fingers into every possible aspect of Franco-Albertan life, from politics and economic development to media and language. Communities that are home to a significant number of Francophones have their own chapter of the ACFA to represent their interests. The ACFA and other Francophone organizations have filled an important niche since the decline of the Roman Catholic Church's authority in the province, organizing social and cultural activities.
The performing arts are alive and thriving in Alberta's Francophone communities. Theatre troupes-L'Unithéâtre in Edmonton and the Société de Théâtre-put on regular productions and several folk dancing troupes perform throughout the province. Smaller French theatre companies can also be found in Peace River, Bonnyville and St. Paul.
One of the most significant developments in the Franco-Albertan artistic community was the opening of the Centre d'arts visuels de l'Alberta in 1997. Located in Edmonton's Bonnie Doon neighbourhood, the centre provides a forum and venue forFrancophone artists and artisans. Artists also have access to the annual Franco-Alberta Festival which showcases French language and culture. The festival typically includes sports events, entertainers, games and activities, and performance artists presenting traditional and contemporary work.
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