The first official francophone regrouping of the Nanaimo region. The office was located at 75 Front Street, Nanaimo.
Francophones published their first monthly news bulletin:
Le Bulletin mensuel des nouvelles des francophones.
It was also the year when the Association manifested its presence at the provincial conference of the Federation des Francophones de la Colombie-Britannique.
The Francophone Club, as it was called then moved to #7, 93 Commercial Street, Nanaimo. “Le Bulletin des nouvelles mensuelles des francophones de Nanaimo” became “The Bastion”.
The Francophone Club received a gift of 200 books from Canada Arts Council, which gave rise to library services for the regions Francophones. Today, the AFN library holds more than 2000 books.
From October 13, 1977 to 1999
The Association offered a pre-school service “Les Lutins”, to the community. The search for adequate facilities continued, and by September 1st 1978, the Club moved to #4 Church Street in downtown Nanaimo.
March 21, 1978
The Francophone Club incorporated and became the Association des Francophones de Nanaimo (AFN). In 2008, the AFN celebrated its 30th anniversary.
In the March 1978 edition of the Bastion, The AFN expressed its recognition to Mr. Julien Laviolette for his hard work toward organizing a French community and defined him as a francophone pioneer.
1978 was also the year when “the Apollos”, the French-speaking hockey team, was proclaimed as the best of the entertaining league of hockey of Nanaimo.
The first Sugar Shack Party was organized.
The AFN organized the first French summer camp which still continues to run every summer since, except for 2008.
October 17, 1982
The AFN proceeded to the official opening of its new center located in the basement of the old buildings of the Nanaimo Health Unit at 285- 101 Prideaux Street.
This is following an extraordinary general assembly that the AFN became owner of the old Chinese church to make it its community center located at 905, Hecate Street .The official opening took place on October 19, 1987. It was the result of more than eleven months of active involvement by the whole community.
the AFN sold its community center and moved to its present location at #30 1925, Bowen Street.
The AFN celebrated the 20th birthday of its annual Sugar Shack Party which coincided with the celebrations of the year of the Canadian Francophonie. The celebrations were an preamble of the Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d'Érable.
Michel Morin created as a volunteer, the first AFN's website.
The AFN launched the first edition of the Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d'Érable; five days of celebration of French Canadian culture traditions. Every year since its creation and until 2008, the festival devoted two days of activities to the Immersion and French school students directly on the Festival site at Nanaimo Beban Park as well as other downtown locations.
Since day one, the festival is run in the two official languages of Canada, and 55% of its volunteer workers are English speaking only.
Christian Zurita worked also as a volunteer and change the AFN image on the web. He also created that year,the first Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d'Erable's website. Furthermore, he maintained up-to-date both websites until 2005.
The AFN, joined with the Association des Francophones de Campbell River, celebrated its 25th Anniversary of incorporation.
The celebration included a banquet and a musical concert run by the well-known Québécois pianist François Cousineau.
Actress and singer Joelle Rabu, was the evening’s master of ceremony while taking part in the show. This memorable evening was held at the Lighthouse Community Centre in Qualicum Bay.
The AFN, jointly with the Citadelle, one of the largest producers of maple products in the world, introduced for the first time the Maple Sugar Festival.
The AFN celebrated the Maple Sugar Festival’s fifth anniversary and launched at a provincial level, the “Toffy Idol”, the first French-speaking amateur contest.
During this event, the AFN received the visit of the Honorable John Les, Minister of Small Enterprise and Economic Development for the province of British Columbia.
In a private meeting, the Honorable John Les met with representatives of the AFN as well as various provincial francophone organizations involved in different sectors including education, culture and business. This meeting represented a historical moment for all the Francophones of British Columbia.
For the first time in history, Radio Canada broadcasted live from the news bulletin Ce soir en Colombie-Britannique outside Vancouver. It was in location at the Maple sugar Festival in Nanaimo.
Representatives from Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, Economic Development Group, Malaspina University-College and Nanaimo Development Office joined the AFN to welcome the 16 person delegation from the Maple Region of Quebec. The main goal was to continue to strengthen economic and cultural ties established in 2004.
May 15th 2006: The AFN organized a workshop for the programming officers of the three different government levels which contribute to financing the AFN. The goal of the workshop was to explain and to inform them on the Association’s future strategic planning. Representatives of francophones associations at a provincial level were also invited. In total, 6 programmers, two representatives of Nanaimo, and three francophone association’s executive directors made the trip to attend the workshop.
At the end of the exchange project with The Maple Region in Quebec, the AFN joined the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce in stating the success and the achievement during this project.
During the three years of the project, three gastronomic and two traditional diners were served to the representatives and the politicians of the two regions. Each diner was specially prepared to give the tastes of local products of each province. About seventy meetings took place during the project resulting in a market study and two agreements. One on a product distribution, and the other on product placement. A package trip was also developped by The Quebec Maple Region for the Nanaimo Maple Sugar Festival visitors.
Many other partnerships were also considered between the participating companies. A major Sponsorship was obtained by The AFN from Citadelle-Camp ,one of the biggest maple syrop producers in the world, based in Quebec.
A formal tie was established between the two regional economic commissionaries with the objective to structure and to increase economic relations.
On March 15, celebrating the 25th anniversary of the British Columbian francophone flag, the City of Nanaimo proclaimed that day as the Nanaimo Franco-Columbian Flag Day.
On March 22nd, an official ceremony was held at the Nanaimo City Hall. A celebration organized by the Francophone school board took place at the Ecole Oceane. Joan Hogan and Nicole Langlois, respectively president and executive director of the AFN, were present. They also presented a formal tribute to Mr. Raymond Lemoine, designer of the flag by offering a picture of the ceremony. Ms. Joy Cameron, a Nanaimo city counselor was also present.
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