A Look Back at the 25th Anniversary Celebration of the Creation of French-Language School Boards in Ontario

Faculty of Education
many people sitting in huguette label space during the gala
Faculty of Education 25th anniversary of full management of French-language school boards in Ontario
The Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa was honoured to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the creation of French-language school boards in Ontario with the builders, representatives, and presidents of French-language school boards in Ontario, along with other notable Franco-Ontarians.

They met on October 13 to celebrate this turning point in the collective journey of the Franco-Ontarian community. The gala highlighted the many successes achieved since the creation of French-language school boards in Ontario. Note that these school boards were formed in response to the many persistent demands of parents and stakeholders at the time, whose dedicated efforts and hard work paved the way for this progress. For a long time prior to this, French-language schools had been under the management of English-language schools boards. In 1997, Bill 104 finally gave Franco-Ontarians complete managerial control of all their schools. Today, there are 12 French-language school boards in Ontario, as well as the Consortium Centre Jules-Léger. Listen to a few testimonials from some of the attendees.  

“The gala featured a sharing of experiences and stories that made a lasting impression. Several emblematic figures who have expanded the reach of Ontario’s Francophonie, including lawyer Mark Power, author Andrée Poulin, doctor Lyne Pitre and educator Jean-François Boulanger, brilliantly underscored the vital role that French-language schools played in their lives. I was honoured to participate in this celebration, which reflected the persistent work of all those who have contributed to the progress of the Francophonie in Ontario.”  

– Richard Barwell, dean of the Faculty of Education   

a group of people standing in front of the franco-ontarian flag
Front line left to right: Roger Paul, Mariette Théberge. Back line left to right: Claire Isabelle, Richard Barwell, Yves Pelletier, Megan Cotnam-Kappel

During the celebration, the Faculty of Education also highlighted the vital role that school boards play in research conducted in their schools by the Faculty’s professors and students. A gallery of posters describing the research projects conducted was presented during the first part of the gala. Our researchers also described the influence our partners wield in shaping teachers during practicums, and also in building and disseminating knowledge about education, educational leadership and learning through research in Francophone minority settings.  

“We considered it so important to gather everyone together to underscore the 25th anniversary of our comprehensive management of French-language school boards. This historic turning point in Franco-Ontarian education testifies to our successes. It encourages us to pursue our efforts to continue to foster the full potential of our youth and to strengthen our partnerships to promote an enriching and dynamic Francophonie. We want to sincerely thank all those who participated in this event.”   

– Claire IsaBelle, organizing committee member and vice-dean of undergraduate studies, Faculty of Education