The francophone presence in British Columbia goes back to the turn of the 19th century, but the arrival of an association will come much later, in the beginning of the century.
Historial exerpts taken from the book “Présence francophone à Victoria” (1843-1991) available at the Society’s offices.
April 21st, 1941, six French-Canadians attend a meeting in Victoria, at Joseph Tremblay’s residence, to form the French-Canadian Club of British Columbia. Their goal is simple: Make a strong effort to find the French-canadians of the province. Reunite them, regroupe them, encourage meetings, develop its interest in the French language and help the membes whenever possile.
finds a home on Richmond Ave.
In 1957, the Club purchases the Anglican church property at 301 Richmond Avenue to hold meetings and events. It’s around the bell tower that French-canadians rally to preserve their cultural and linguistic heritage; The Saint-Jean Baptiste parish became a guardian of the French language.
The French-Canadian Club
In order to refelct the regional character, the club changes its name in 1970 to the French-Canadian Club of Victoria. Francophones from the provincial capital organize various events: choirs, theatre groups, café, artisan committee, culinary arts classes, TV shows, historical committee, information bulleting and more.
The Club becomes
Finally, in 1982, the Club officially becomes the Francophone Society of Victoria. At the same time, the Society can officially rent its first space ; if at the beginning, the Club gathered in private houses or rented halls, the federal funding allowed the renting of a space on Yates street. The Society has moved several times since, all the while staying in Greater Victoria.
After a long stint at l’école Victor-Brodeur in Esquimalt, and almost 20 years on Yates street, the Society moves into its current location at 1218 Langley.