Ottawa, January 20, 2020 – The Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) today proudly launches the celebrations marking its 110th anniversary. It was on January 20, 1910, that the Association canadienne-française d’éducation d’Ontario, the forerunner of today’s AFO, was founded following a two-day convention in Ottawa attended by 1200 delegates from across the province.
Immediately, the organization positioned itself as a strong political voice in the field of education, particularly in the battle against Regulation 17 which banned the use of the French language in Ontario schools. In 1969, the ACFÉO changed its name and became the Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (the provincial ACFO) as it broadened the scope of its activities and advocacy to include areas such as justice, culture, politics, health and the economy.
In 2006, the Assemblée de la francophonie de l’Ontario (AFO) was formed by the fusion of the provincial ACFO with the Direction de l’Entente Canada-communauté Ontario. Year by year, the AFO became an ever-stronger presence in federal and provincial political arenas and successfully mobilized Franco-Ontarians around common issues, a recent example being the response to the provincial government’s 2018 budget cuts.
“I am very grateful for everything that our predecessors have accomplished for Ontario’s Francophone community. It is thanks, in part, to those 110 years of hard work that today we have a vibrant Francophone community across the entire province. In turn, we will ensure that our rights are respected and that Ontario’s Francophones have the standing they deserve. We are also heartened to see the rise of an active new generation. Our organization continues to have a bright future ahead of it. We are and will remain Franco-Ontarians!” declared the AFO’s president, Carol Jolin.
Over the course of 2020, the AFO will publish articles highlighting key events in the history of the organization and the Franco-Ontarian community. They will be posted on the website. Celebrations will also be held in many communities throughout the province, including a convention in Ottawa to mark the end of the year-long celebration under the theme “Agir pour l’avenir” (acting for the future).
Click here to learn more about the founding of our organization.