Infographic: The French presence in British Columbia

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The French presence in British Columbia. Details in text following the infographic.
Text version: The French presence in British Columbia

Text version: The French presence in British Columbia

From 2006 to 2011 there was an increase of:

12%: People whose mother tongue is French

22%: People who speak French most often at home

The 2nd highest growth in Canada!

French is the first official language of 1.5% of the population (62,190 people).

7% of the population (296,645 people) can speak both English and French.


5,000 students attend French-language schools.

In 2013, the school board opened its 38th French-language school.

Over 49,000 students are enrolled in French immersion.

French immersion enrolment has increased nearly 40% over the past 10 years.

1/3 of public school students are enrolled in core French.

Simon Fraser University offers post-secondary education in French.

Where do francophones live? (percentage of the population whose first official language is French)

Economic regions:

  1. Lower Mainland–Southwest 59%
  2. Vancouver Island and Coast 19%
  3. Thompson–Okanagan 12%
  4. Kootenay 4%
  5. Cariboo 3%
  6. Northeast 1%
  7. North Coast 1%
  8. Nechako 1%

Where were they (francophones) born?

  • In BC 12%
  • Elsewhere in Canada 61%
  • Abroad 26%

Where were French-speaking immigrants born? (15,433 people)

  • 51% Europe
  • 23% Asia
  • 15% Africa
  • 10% Americas
  • 1% Oceania and other


March: The Festival du Bois in Maillardville honours French-Canadian traditions and culture. It is the largest Francophone festival on Canada’s West Coast.

June: The Festival d’été francophone de Vancouver celebrates French-Canadian music and culture.


In 1793, six French-Canadian voyageurs, accompanied by Alexander Mackenzie, reached the Pacific.

By 1812, over 300 French Canadians were engaged in fur trading and farming. Quebec families arrived in 1909 and settled along the Fraser River east of Vancouver, which would become Maillardville.

The Franco-Columbian flag was adopted in 1982.



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