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Franco-Columbians (French: Franco-Colombiens) are French Canadians or French-speaking Canadians (Francophones) living in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Flag of the Franco-Colombiens.svg
Franco-Columbian flag
Gilbert Brule.jpgModeste Demers.jpgHenriGustaveJolydeLotbiniere23.jpgGrimes crop 2012.jpgDenise Savoie.jpgJean-Luc Bilodeau (Straighten Crop).jpg
Total population
Regions with significant populations
British Columbia
Canadian French · Canadian English
predominantly Christian (Roman Catholicism, other denominations)
Related ethnic groups
Franco-Manitobans · Franco-Ontarians · Fransaskois · French Canadians · Québécois · Acadians · Cajuns · French Americans · Metis · French

British Columbia is, geographically, the farthest-removed province from Canada's historic francophone population, thus it is not surprising to find that francophone British Columbians are few in number. The 2001 census placed the number of British Columbians with French as a mother tongue at 57,280, 1.3% of BC's population, ranking seventh after English (3,062,430), 'other Chinese' (357,865), Cantonese (133,245), Punjabi (94,055), German (73,625), and Tagalog (66,120). A good number of these listed francophones would be European and African immigrants or migrants from eastern Canada making the Franco-Columbian community a diverse one encompassing many places of origin and differing roots in the province. The popularity of French immersion education programmes have also meant that the population of second-language French speakers outnumbers the francophone population.



While Francophones have a significant history in the province due to the founders of the Hudson's Bay and North West companies, who were mostly Metis, and during the gold rushes of the 1860s, when many from France and Belgium became notable in business and society, organized migration from Quebec did not happen until the early 19th century, when the owners of Fraser Mills imported mill workers from that province, forming the community of Maillardville, a neighbourhood of Coquitlam in suburban Vancouver. In 1909 mill workers were brought from Quebec to Maillardville[2] and their descendants constitute a small and proud community.[3] Today Maillardville describes itself as "a community with a francophone heart" and is home to a number of francophone community organizations,[4] schools, churches,[5][6] a retirement home,[7] the annual Festival du Bois,[8] and an organization of francophone scouts and guides.[9] Community organizations place the francophone population of the Coquitlam area at 13,000.[2]

Francophone service and community centres elsewhere in the provinceEdit

Francophone community centres and resources also exist in Vancouver,[10][11] Prince George,[12] Nelson,[13]Kelowna,[14] Penticton,[15] Victoria,[16] Nanaimo[17] and Kamloops.[18] The Fédération des Francophones de la C.-B. ( is the giant umbrella organization assembling all other francophone associations in BC - see


The province is served by a francophone school board (Le Conseil scolaire francophone de la Colombie-Britannique) which operates 40 schools offering education from kindergarten through grade 12 in the Lower Mainland, Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island, Okanagan, Kootenays, Prince George, Fraser Valley, and other parts of the province.[19] A large and vibrant French immersion programme, although intended for anglophones, also includes some francophone students. The province hosts an active chapter of Canadian Parents for French (BC-Yukon Branch).[20]

Although French courses, and training for French immersion teaching are offered at the province's universities, there is no bilingual or French-language university in the province. Simon Fraser University, however, offers five degree programmes that can be completed entirely in French.[21] Educacentre College is the province's only French-language college with campuses in Vancouver, Victoria and Prince George as well as distance education options.[21]


Vancouver-based television station CBUFT-DT broadcasts throughout the province via relay transmitters, as do French-language radio stations CBUF-FM (Première Chaîne) and, to a lesser extent, CBUX-FM (Espace musique).[22] Other French-language media such as CBC's Ici RDI, TV5 and MusiquePlus are also available but not locally based. TVA's owned-and-operated station in Montreal (CFTM-DT) is also available on basic cable. Between 1968 and 1998, the province had a newspaper called Le Soleil de la Colombie-Britannique.[23] A digitized version of the complete run of the newspaper is available online.[24] There is now a newspaper published out of Vancouver called L'Express du Pacifique.[25] The Société radio communautaire Victoria, started in 1999 as an offshoot of the Société francophone de Victoria, was incorporated in 2004 and started on-air FM radio programming on 7 November 2007 non-stop as CILS-FM at 107.9 MHz and 250 watts - see


In addition to Coquitlam's annual Festival du Bois,[26] Canadian Parents for French host an annual French Celebration Week, Francapalooza, a French film festival and French-language youth camps targeting both Francophone and French immersion students.[27] L'Association des Ecrivains de la Colombie Britannique publishes a monthly youth magazine called La Moustique.[20] A French-language theatre group called Théâtre la Seizième is also active in the province[28] as well as the dance troupes Danseurs du Pacifique[29] and Les Cornouillers,[30] and the annual BC Francophone Games.[10] The Conseil Culturel et Artistique de la Colombie Britannique serves as a community organization in the area of arts and culture.[31] The Association Historique Francophone de Victoria (, started in 1985 as an offshoot of the Société francophone de Victoria, has published a book called "Présence francophone à Victoria (1843 - 1987)" - see

Notable Franco-ColumbiansEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Census 2016, focus on geography series - British Columbia - Official language minority community". Retrieved 17 October 2018.
  2. ^ a b Societe francophone de Maillardville - À propos de nous / About us
  3. ^ "Historical Photographs". Archived from the original on 2008-02-15. Retrieved 2008-02-24.
  4. ^ Societe francophone de Maillardville - Bienvenue/Welcome
  5. ^ Notre Dame de Fatima - Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church
  6. ^ Our Lady of Lourdes Notre Dame de Lourdes Archived 2008-07-25 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ Foyer Maillard Welcomes You! Archived 2008-03-21 at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ Festival du Bois - Société francophone de Maillardville
  9. ^
  10. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-11-21. Retrieved 2008-02-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ Bienvenue
  12. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-11-27. Retrieved 2008-02-24.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  13. ^ AFKO
  14. ^ Centre francophone de services à l'emploi de l'Okanagan, Okanagan French Cultural Centre / Employment Services
  15. ^ Centre francophone de services à l'emploi de l'Okanagan, Okanagan French Cultural Centre / Employment Services
  16. ^ La Société francophone de Victoria
  17. ^ L'Association des francophones de Nanaimo
  18. ^ Association francophone de Kamloops - Accueil
  19. ^ liste_ecoles_08.cdr
  20. ^ a b Canadian Parents for French - British Columbia & Yukon Branch Archived 2007-12-19 at the Wayback Machine
  21. ^ a b pdf tab.indd[permanent dead link]
  22. ^ CBC/Radio-Canada - Stations de bases et affiliées - Colombie-Britannique Archived 2008-03-04 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ Le Soleil de la Colombie-Britannique ne paraît plus - Radio-Canada nouvelles Archived 2011-06-05 at the Wayback Machine
  24. ^
  25. ^ L'Express du Pacifique Archived 2008-05-01 at the Wayback Machine
  26. ^ Festival du Bois - Société Maillardville-Uni
  27. ^ Canadian Parents for French - CPF Archived 2007-06-17 at
  28. ^ Théâtre la Seizième
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-13. Retrieved 2013-06-29.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  31. ^ Conseil Culturel et Artistique de la Colombie-Britannique (CCAFCB)

External linksEdit