Francophone Diversity

Diverse roots


Three out of ten Franco-Albertans were born in Alberta. People who were born elsewhere in Canada make up the majority of the Francophone population. Consequently, Franco-Albertans have roots across the country and have developed close relationships with French-speaking communities in other provinces.

Close to 16 percent of Franco-Albertans were born outside the country, which adds to the diversity of the Francophone population of the province. Forty percent of them came from Europe, but Africa is making inroads in the province - 2,880 French-speaking immigrants are from this continent.
 

Place of Birth, 2006, Francophones, Alberta

Place of Birth, 2006, Francophones, Alberta

Data: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

A more diverse Francophonie


The Francophone community in Alberta includes 10,700 newcomers, representing 7.8 percent of the Francophone immigrants who live in Francophone minority communities. These newcomers bring a significant contribution to the growth of the Franco-Albertan community. The largest group of Francophone immigrants comes from Europe, more precisely from the Western and Mediterranean areas. The French speaking Asian community is split evenly between people from the Middle East and South-eastern Asia.

The large number of immigrants joining the Francophone community in Alberta is both a challenge and an opportunity for the community. This challenge is especially obvious in the French language schools, where some classes count a significant proportion of children whose parents grew up outside the country.

In addition, close to 2,700 Francophones belong to one of the First Nations.
 

Francophone Immigrants, 2006, Alberta

Francophone Immigrants, 2006, Alberta

Data: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

Note: These are people who have been granted immigrant status in Canada, whose first known official language is French.

A recent phenomenon


A total of 48 percent of the province's Francophone immigrants arrived in the last decade. Each successive census shows a rapid increase of French-language immigration in the province.
 

Francophone Immigrants by Immigration Period, Alberta

Francophone Immigrants by Immigration Period, Alberta

Data: Statistics Canada, 2006 Census

The future of the Francophone Community


The growth of the French-speaking population rests chiefly on the influx of immigrants and interprovincial migrants. Close to 27 percent of the immigrants living in French-speaking communities are originally from an African country and many of them are active to some degree in their community or in the associative sector in general. Immigration is an important issue for the Association canadienne-française de l'Alberta (ACFA) which has established a strategic committee on immigration to meet demand. The largest concentrations of Francophone and bilingual immigrants are found in Edmonton and Calgary, where there are also the most settlement services and associations:
 

In Edmonton:

 

In Calgary:

 

Centre Accès-emploi Centre d'accueil pour les nouveaux arrivants francophones
(CANAF)
Centre d'accueil et établissement Centre d'orientation et de formation en recherche
L'Association Jeunesse-Famille de l'Alberta Society d'emploi pour les jeunes
Union des Français de l'étranger (UFE) Centre d'emploi francophone de Calgary
Association de la communauté congolaise d'Edmonton Connexion Carrière à Calgary
Association culturelle rwandaise de l'Alberta Alliance française de Calgary
Association de la communauté haïtienne Association camerounaise de Calgary
Association de la communauté burundaise Association des Ivoiriens et Ivoiriennes de Calgary
Association multiculturelle francophone de l'Alberta Amicale Congo-Brazza Alberta (ACBA)

Elsewhere in the province:


Several immigrants also choose to settle in Brooks, Fort McMurray and Grande Prairie. To meet the needs, the city of Brooks has established a bilingual settlement centre, the Global Friendship Immigration Center. In Grande Prairie, there is a guide for Francophone newcomers as well as a community resource centre located at the regional ACFA. The Fort McMurray region has set up Franco Job, a job placement centre.