Infographic: The French Presence in Alberta

The French presence in Alberta. Details in text following the infographic.

Text version: The French Presence in Alberta

  • 7% of the population (264,720 people) can speak both English and French.
  • French is the mother tongue of 2% of the population (79,154 people)
  • French is the first official language of 2% of the population (79,838 people)
  • From 2011 to 2016, there was an increase of 22% of people whose mother tongue is French
  • From 2011 to 2016, there was an increase of 53% of people who speak French most often at home


  • 183,966 students from kindergarten to grade 12 are enrolled in French-language, French immersion or French second language programs. (29% of eligible enrolment) (2015-2016)
  • 141,528 students are enrolled in core French (23% of eligible enrolment) (2015-2016)
  • 42,438 students are enrolled in French immersion programs (7% of eligible enrolment) (2015-2016)
  • 4 Francophone school boards
  • 42 French-language schools. 7,814 students (2017-2018)
  • 842 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. (2017-2018)

Where do Francophones live?

More than half of Franco-Albertans live in and around Calgary and Edmonton.

Economic Regions

  • Athabasca-Grande Prairie-Peace River: 8%
  • Wood Buffalo-Cold Lake: 7%
  • Camrose-Drumheller: 3%
  • Lethbridge-Medicine Hat: 3%
  • Calgary: 33%
  • Red Deer: 3%
  • Banff-Jasper--Rocky Mountain House: 3%
  • Edmonton: 39%

Alberta has 31 Francophone communities and 4 municipalities that are officially bilingual: Beaumont, Legal, Falher and Plamondon.

Where were they born?

  • Elsewhere in Canada: 50%
  • In Alberta: 25%
  • Abroad: 24%

Where were French-speaking immigrants born?

  • Africa: 50%
  • Europe: 23%
  • Americas: 15%
  • Asia: 13%


  • Newspaper: Le Franco
  • Radio: CHPL FM 92.1 (Plamondon / Lac La Biche), and Radio-Canada ICI Première and ICI Musique
  • Television: ICI Radio-Canada Télé, ALTA TV and Unis TV



  • The Flying Canoë Volant festival showcases the culture and traditions of the First Nations, French Canadian and Métis peoples and celebrates the beauty of the Mill Creek ravine and Edmonton’s French quarter.
  • The Carnaval de St-Isidore celebrates French culture and traditions in Alberta.


  • 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.


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


  • Brought by the first fur traders, French was the first European language spoken in Alberta.
  • 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.
  • In 2017, the Government of Alberta introduced its first French Policy and recognized the Franco-Albertan flag as a symbol of distinction under the Emblems of Alberta Act.


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