#31 - 1925 Bowen Road, Nanaimo
Phone: 250.729.2776

History


1972-1973
The first official francophone regrouping of the Nanaimo region. The office was located at 75 Front Street, Nanaimo.
1976
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.
1977
The Francophone Club, as it was called then moved to #7, 93 Commercial Street, Nanaimo.
« Le Bulletin de nouvelles mensuel des francophones de Nanaimo » devenait « Le Bastion », nom qu’il porte encore aujourd’hui.

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 13th 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 21st 1978
The Francophone Club incorporated and became the Association des Francophones de Nanaimo (AFN).In 2008, the AFN celebrated its 30th anniversary.

Dans les pages du journal « Le Bastion » de mars 1978, nous pouvons lire que l’AFN reconnaissait les efforts de monsieur Julien Laviolette et le définissait comme un pionnier. Il fût un des premiers à tenter de regrouper les francophones de Nanaimo.

En 1978, l’équipe de hockey francophone « Les Appolons » figurait parmi les quatre meilleures de la ligue de hockey récréative de Nanaimo.
March 1979
The first Maple Sugar Shack Party was presented.
July 1979
The AFN organized the first French summer camp which still continues to run every summer since, except for 2008. This year, 2019, it will be the 39th year!
October 17th 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.
April 1085
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.
April 1999
AFN sold its community center and moved to its present location at #30 1925, Bowen Street.
2000
L’AFN célébrait le 20e anniversaire de sa cabane à sucre annuelle qui coïncidait avec les célébrations entourant l’Année de la francophonie canadienne. Les célébrations du 20e anniversaire ont eu lieu durant 3 jours et servirent de préambule au  » Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable ».

Michel Morin created as a volunteer, the first AFN's website.
2001
L’AFN lançait la toute première édition du « Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable ». Cinq jours de célébration de la culture et des traditions canadiennes françaises. Depuis sa création, le festival consacra deux jours de programmation aux élèves des programmes francophone et d’immersion française sur le site du festival au parc Beban et au centre-ville de Nanaimo en plus des trois jours d’activités s’adressant au grand public. La promotion du festival se fait depuis sa création dans les deux langues officielles. Un fait saillant du festival est que depuis sa création, 55% de ses bénévoles sont des anglophones unilingues.
2002
Christian Zurita, à titre bénévole également, change l’image Internet de l’AFN et crée le tout premier site Internet du « Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable ». Il fera ensuite le maintien des deux sites jusqu’en 2005.
2003
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.
2004
L’AFN s’associait pour la toute première fois à Citadelle, la plus grande coopérative de producteurs de produits d’érable au monde pour présenter son « Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable ».

AFN celebrated the Maple Sugar Festival’s fifth anniversary and launched at a provincial level, the “Toffy Idol”, the first French-speaking amateur contest.
2005
L’AFN célébrait le cinquième anniversaire de son festival du Sucre d’érable en lançant son tout premier concours d’amateur francophone d’envergure provincial intitulé l’Idole de Toffy.

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.

Pour la première fois de son histoire, la Société Radio-Canada produisait en direct son bulletin de nouvelles le « Ce soir en Colombie-Britannique » à l’extérieur de Vancouver et c’est sur le site du Festival du Sucre d’Érable de Nanaimo que cela s’est produit.
2006
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.
2007
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 developed by The Quebec Maple Region for the Nanaimo Maple Sugar Festival visitors.

Quelques 70 rendez-vous d’affaires au total ont eu lieu de part et d’autres au cours de ce projet. Une étude de marché, une entente de distribution, une de partenariat et une autre de placement de produits ont aussi découlées de ce projet. Un forfait voyage a aussi été développé par la région de l’Érable pour être offert aux visiteurs du « Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable ». D’autres partenariats d’affaires sont maintenant envisagés entre certaines compagnies participantes. Une commandite majeure est obtenue par l’AFN pour la présentation de son Festival par la plus grande coopérative de producteurs de sirop d’érable au monde, Citadelle-CAMP. situé dans la région de l’Érable.

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.