Regina, in the centre of Saskatchewan’s vibrant Francophone community
Saskatchewan’s Francophone community, also called Fransaskoisie, accounts for close to 2% of the province’s population, even though 5% of Saskatchewanians reported being able to speak both French and English in the 2016 Census. Most Francophones live in the cities of Prince Albert, Saskatoon and Regina, the provincial capital. It is there that the offices of most Fransaskois organizations are located: Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise, for example, the organization representing Franco-Saskatchewanians; Conseil culturel fransaskois, responsible for cultural and artistic development; Société historique de la Saskatchewan, the custodian of Francophone history and heritage; and Association canadienne-française de Regina, which organizes many local events. The capital is also home to French‑language radio, television and print media. When you visit Regina and Saskatchewan’s other regions to attend or take part in French‑language events and discover talented Fransaskois artists, the vitality that drives this vibrant place is striking to see.
Meeting the Francophone community in Regina
The offices of Regina’s Francophone organizations are grouped on the second floor of École Monseigneur de Laval, in the Pavillon secondaire des Quatre-Vents. These organizations include the Assemblée communautaire fransaskoise, Association des juristes d’expression française, Conseil culturel fransaskois, Conseil économique et coopératif de la Saskatchewan, Conseil des écoles fransaskoises, Collège Mathieu, Coopérative des publications fransaskoises (including the French‑language L’Eau vive newspaper), Éditions de la Nouvelle Plume and Société historique de la Saskatchewan. This is the place where you can learn anything and everything about community life in French in Regina and, more broadly, in Saskatchewan.
In addition to annual events such as Fête fransaskoise, Nouvelle Scène, Fransaschante and shows put on by Coup de cœur francophone, the Conseil culturel fransaskois offers programming that includes music, comedy and dance in partnership with local communities. For the past few years, a visual arts exhibit has also been held in the second-floor hallways of Pavillon des Quatre‑Vents at École Monseigneur de Laval. This building’s auditorium features theatrical performances by community theatre troupe Oskana, which sometimes performs plays written by local authors. The Association canadienne-française de Regina organizes shows, happy hours, movie nights, international-Francophonie-themed dinners, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day celebrations and much more. It also hosts a Francophone pavilion at Mosaic – A Festival of Cultures.
To keep up with all the events happening in Fransaskoisie, in Regina and everywhere else, tune in to Radio-Canada, both on the radio and on TV, read L’Eau vive, founded in 1971, listen to community radio CFRG from Gravelbourg or check out the Fransaskois.info virtual portal. The Société historique de la Saskatchewan organizes Heritage Days, a travelling annual event on the history of Francophones in Saskatchewan that draws Francophone and Francophile school and community audiences. The Société historique de la Saskatchewan also publishes the Revue historique, in addition to preserving and centralizing the community’s archives in order to make them accessible.
There is no shortage of French-language activities in Saskatoon. The majority are supported by the Fédération des francophones de Saskatoon, which organizes shows, happy hours and dinners, a mentorship program, improv competitions, the Cinergie film festival, a Christmas party, a carnival, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day events, and much more. It is also in Saskatoon that you will find Saskatchewan’s only Francophone professional theatre troupe: La Troupe du Jour. The Fédération des francophones de la Saskatchewan also has a Francophone pavilion at Saskatoon’s multicultural festival, Folkfest. Most Francophone activities take place at the Le Relais cultural centre. Residents can also cheer on the Patriotes hockey team, participate in the French circle for University of Saskatchewan students, and join the seniors’ club or the Choeur des Plaines choir. The Communauté des Africains francophones de la Saskatchewan represents the new multiethnic face of Fransaskoisie. Saskatoon is also home to the Sans-atelier artists’ collective, the Réseau santé en français de la Saskatchewan and the Association des parents fransaskois. The Association Jeunesse Fransaskoise targets youth aged 12 to 15 with soccer games, Ram Dam, Youth Parliament, Francofièvre, amateur theatre workshops and even a trip to the Winnipeg Festival du Voyageur.
In the region
Many Francophone farming communities were created in Saskatchewan at the turn of the 20th century. Either alone or in partnership with provincial organizations, they organize community and cultural activities in Bellegarde, Bellevue, Domrémy, Saint‑Louis, Gravelbourg, Moose Jaw, Battleford, Ponteix, Zenon Park, Prince Albert, Debden, Saint-Denis, Prud’homme and Vonda. Thanks to Fransaskois community organizations and countless volunteers, Saskatchewan’s Francophones offer ample opportunities to share their language and culture.