Infographic: The French Presence in Alberta

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The French Presence in Alberta. Details in text following the infographic.
Text version: The French Presence in Alberta

Text version: The French Presence in Alberta

French is the first official language of 71,370 people (2% of the population).

235,565 people can speak both English and French (7% of the population).

From 2006 to 2011, there was an increase of:

  • 18% of people whose mother tongue is French; and
  • 37% of people who speak French most often at home.
  • The highest growth in Canada!


In 2014–2015, 198,264 kindergarten to Grade 12 students (29%) were enrolled in French Immersion, Francophone or French as a second language programs.

148,711 are enrolled in French as a second language programs.

42,285 students are enrolled in French immersion programs (6.3% of the student population).

There are four Francophone school boards.

In 2015–2016, 7,430 students were enrolled in 39 Francophone schools.

757 students are registered at Campus Saint-Jean, the University of Alberta’s Francophone campus. The faculty offers 9 undergraduate programs and 2 master's programs in French.

Where do francophones live?

More than half of the Franco-Albertan population lives in Calgary and Edmonton and the surrounding areas.

Economic regions: (percentage of the population whose first official language is French)

There are 31 Francophone communities in Alberta and four municipalities are officially bilingual: Beaumont, Legal, Falher and Plamondon.

Where were they (francophones) born?

Most Francophones in Alberta migrated to the province from elsewhere in Canada. 

  • In Alberta: 27%
  • Elsewhere in Canada: 54%
  • Abroad: 17%

Where were French-speaking immigrants born?

  • Africa: 39%
  • Europe: 29%
  • Asia: 16%
  • Americas: 15%


February: Started 34 years ago, the Carnaval de St-Isidore celebrates French culture and traditions in Alberta.

March: The Rendez-vous de la francophonie are celebrated every year across Alberta and include Franco-Albertan flag-raising ceremonies, community gatherings, multicultural meetings, concerts, performances, educational opportunities and more.

July: The Fête franco-albertaine is a family festival that brings together Francophones of all ages from across the province.


French was the first European language spoken in Alberta, brought by the first fur traders.

In the 1890s, an influx of settlers arrived in Alberta in search of prosperity, and the proportion of Francophones decreased. In 1892, the Legislative Assembly made English the only language of debate and instruction.

The Association canadienne-française de l’Alberta was created in 1926. In 1964, the School Act was amended to allow for one hour of French instruction per day. In the 1990s, Franco‑Albertans gained control over their schools, and the government of Alberta established a Francophone affairs secretariat.



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