Officially 50! A Conference Marking 50 Years of Linguistic Duality and Education in Canada

For immediate release

Gatineau, Quebec, November 21, 2019 – The Association for Canadian Studies, Canadian Parents for French and the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada are jointly hosting a bilingual conference to mark the 50th anniversary of the Official Languages Act.

The Conference will bring together youth, parents and some of Canada’s foremost academics, researchers and educators to exchange ideas and chart the way forward for linguistic duality in Canada.

Over 150 participants are expected to attend the Conference, whose multi-disciplinary program includes a range of topics on the history of Canada’s official languages, the latest research on education and language use, and the possibilities and constraints of technologies for language learning and translation. Parents and educators will also be discussing challenges and solutions related to learning French as a second language.

More than 40 young Canadians from across the country will be attending the Conference to share their experiences and ideas related to issues that affect them now and that will continue to influence their future, including linguistic insecurity, multiple identities and inclusion in a multicultural society, and Canada’s language policy.

The conference will take place from November 21 to 23, 2019, at the Palais des congrès de Gatineau and at the Four Points by Sheraton Hotel & Conference Centre in Gatineau, Quebec.



This conference will offer an important opportunity to hear from policy-makers, researchers and leaders from official language minority communities as regards the past, present and future of official languages across the country.

Jack Jedwab, President and CEO of the Association for Canadian Studies

There are 400,000 students enrolled in French immersion every year in Canada, and the demand from parents continues to grow – especially in the western provinces. Such is the demand, that findings suggest we could fill another 100,000 spaces if the programs were available everywhere across the country. It is incumbent on us to address the challenges in French-second-language (FSL) teacher supply and demand in Canada and to improve access to quality FSL programs for all Canadian students.

Nancy McKeraghan, President of Canadian Parents for French

Young Canadians have been a force of change over the years and played a critical role in preserving and promoting our country’s linguistic duality. Their experiences are an inspiration for all of us who are working to promote our two official languages. Now more than ever, we need the voice of Canada’s youth to shape the future of linguistic duality in this country.

Raymond Théberge, Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada

For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Association for Canadian Studies
Chloé Nignol
Communications Coordinator
Telephone: 514-925-3099
Canadian Parents for French
Marcos Salaiza
Project Communications Coordinator
Telephone: 613-235-1481, Ext. 222
Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages
Antonia Papadakou
Manager, Public Affairs
Telephone: 819-420-4879
Toll-free: 1-877-996-6368
Cellular: 613-808-9499

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