FRENCH IMMERSION BEGINS IN ST. LAMBERT QC
A group of innovative and determined anglophone parents persuaded their public school district to open an “immersion” kindergarten class. Although it was not the first such experiment, the St. Lambert program was closely followed by researchers and became the inspiration for parents across the country seeking better FSL learning for their children.
CANADA’S FIRST OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
English and French were recognized as the official languages of Parliament and all federal institutions.
FIRST FUNDS FOR “BILINGUALISM IN EDUCATION”
The federal government, through agreements with the provinces, began to provide funding support for minority-official-language education and second-official-language instruction.
Canadian Parents for French is Founded
Keith Spicer, the first Commissioner of Official Languages, hosted a conference for 28 parents from all 10 provinces who were working within their communities to improve French-second-language learning. The result was the founding of CPF.1977
FIRST NEWS CONFERENCE
Founding President Pat Webster announced the formation of CPF and urged the federal government to immediately adopt a charter that would ensure all Canadian children have access to second [official] language instruction.1977
FIRST MEETING WITH A CABINET MINISTER
Representatives of the fledgling organization met with the Secretary of State for Canada to seek funding for its earliest initiatives. (In 1996 many of the responsibilities of the Secretary of State were transferred to the new cabinet position of Minister of Canadian Heritage.)1977
First issue of CPF’s National Newsletter
Issue No 1 – June 19771977
First National Conference
Held in October 1977, the conference was attended by more than 60 parents from across the country. Speakers addressed topics including national unity, FSL research results, and FSL program materials. The first Board of Directors was established, the goals of the organization confirmed, and ambitious resolutions passed.1977
FIRST BRANCHES AND CHAPTERS ESTABLISHED
The delegates to the first national conference returned to their communities to begin the work of establishing provincial branches and local chapters.
FIRST DIRECTORY OF SUMMER PROGRAMS
National newsletter #3 featured the first Canadian directory of exchange programs, summer camps, and summer language classes.1978
FIRST GUIDE TO FUNDING FOR FSL
National newsletter #4 featured the first comprehensive overview for parents of federal and provincial funding for FSL education.
CAMPAIGN TO INFLUENCE FEDERAL-PROVINCIAL FSL FUNDING NEGOTIATIONS
A national newsletter article alerted CPF members to a stalemate in negotiations for a new “bilingualism in education funding” agreement, and urged branches and chapters to add their voices to the efforts being made nationally to ensure continued and improved funding. A new agreement was finally signed in December 1983. As each subsequent multi-year agreement expired, CPF put pressure on the federal government and the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada not to delay a renewal to the point that local school board planning was adversely affected.1979
MEMBERSHIP FEE INITIATED
A modest $5.00/year was charged for a family membership.1979
FIRST RESEARCH STUDY
CPF undertook an investigation of why parents want their children to learn French, their expectations of FSL programs, and related questions.1979
First Book is published
So You Want Your Child to Learn French! was the first book to offer information to parents across Canada who wanted their children to learn French.
First Wordmark is Established1980
FIRST PAMPHLET IS PUBLISHED
“How to be an Immersion Parent” was adapted from a pamphlet prepared by the British Columbia branch.
FIRST CPF FESTIVAL D’ART ORATOIRE
In the spring of 1985 CPF took on responsibility for hosting this national non-competitive oratorical Festival for French first- and second-language students, while the CPF chapters and branches organized Concours d’art oratoire “speak-offs.” The Festival was held each year until 1995.
CPF CONSULTED RE OFFICIAL LANGUAGES ACT
At the invitation of the Secretary of State, CPF was consulted re the drafting of a new Official Languages Act. Then, in the spring of 1988, Canadian Parents for French presented a brief to the Legislative Committee of the House of Commons regarding Bill C-72 – the proposed new Official Languages Act.1987
CPF’s 10th anniversary
Branches are established to service 10 provinces and 2 territories. There are 16,000 members across the country.
CPF Presents to a House Committee
Canadian Parents for French is asked to presentto the Legislative Committee of the House of Commons on Bill C-72 – Official Languages Act.
CPF Questions its name
Because CPF sounds like a French first language organization, leaders consider changing the name. However it is agreed at the ’89 AGM the name would not change
First Video is launched
CPF launches its first video A Wider Vision – Elargir ses horizons.
CPF Meets Prime Minister
CPF President attends a roundtable meeting on the constituation with minority language groups, hosted by former Prime Minister Joe Clark1992
National Public Awareness Campaign
CPF launches Learning French makes a world of difference.
Proud of Two Languages Video is launched
The Proud of Two Languages campaign is launched and CPF adopts a new mascot.
First CPF Website is launched!
The CPF website is launched.1997
CPF and the Queen
CPF President and Past Presidents meet Queen Elizabeth at Rideau Hall in July.1997
Branches are established to service 9 provinces and a territory. There are 18,000 members across the country.
GG States: CPF Changed Education in Canada
Reception held at Rideau Hall hosted by His Excellency the Right Honourable Roméo LeBlanc.
First CPF research report is released
The State of French Second Language Education in Canada is launched.
FMR CPF President awarded the Order of Canada
Dr. Joan Netten, awarded the Order of Canada for her internationally recognized research in French immersion.
I’m learning/staying in french because…
CPF launches a multi-media promotional campaign, with ten national French first- and second-language partners.2003
National Concours d’art oratoire introduced
National Symposium with Ocol
CPF partners with the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages and Canadian Heritage in a national symposium Vision and Challenges of the 21st Century2004
I’m teaching french because… is launched
CPF Receives Francophonie Prize
CPF is awarded the Prix d’excellence Lyse-Daniels 2005 by Impératif français, a French-first-language and culture advocacy group.
Branches are established to service 10 provinces and 2 territories. There are 25,000 members across the country.
First National CPF volunteer award
John Ryan is the recipient of the first annual CPF National Volunteer Award recognizing volunteers whose exemplary efforts contributed to the advancement of FSL education.
I want to become bilingual because…
Launch of the I want to Become Bilingual Because… videos to honour he many hardworking students studying French as a second language across the country.
First Former FI grad as a national president
Coming full circle, CPF elects former French immersion graduate, Lisa Marie Perkins, as a National President of Canadian Parents for French.
First Endowment Fund Established
Launch of the Mary Joyce Booth Endowment Fund promoting youth learning French through extracurricular activities.
Launch of CPF Magazine
CPF replaces national newsletters with a new national magazine.
A musical tour is launched and provides 125 workshops to over 4,725 students.
New brand for CPF!2015
NEW CPF Network Strategic Plan
CPF Network Leades endorse a five year strategic plan 2015-2000.
Canadian Parents for French is made the recipient of the 2016 Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Linguistic Duality
Canadian Parents for French is made the recipient of the 2016 Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Linguistic Duality presented by the Commissioner of Official Languages for our commitment to the contribution, development and promotion of linguistic duality across Canada and abroad.2016
Statement from Honorable Joe Clark
“Please do extend to the pioneers of Canadian Parents for French my congratulations on CPF’s unique and signal role in transforming bilingualism from a “public policy” to an “actual practice” in so many Anglophone and allophone communities across Canada. There is a tendency to judge initiatives by hard figures – numbers of students, degrees of proficiency; that’s valuable too. But the real impact of Canadian bilingualism has been upon attitudes – we define our country more broadly than we did before, and have a better understanding of the diversity which truly distinguishes Canada. That required commitment, example and courage on the part of many citizens, including prominently Canadian Parents for French” – Honorable Joe Clark2016
CPF Alum joins CPF Alberta Board of Directors and Attends National Conference and AGM
Here is a flashback article from the Issue No. 43, Fall 1988 Edition of the CPF National Newsletter. The story – entitled “Centre de Montreal, Ici Emma à quatre milles pieds…” The Emma on this story is Emma Piayda who just recently joined the CPF Alberta Board of Directors and attended the National Conference and AGM in Ottawa with us.
FIRST CANADIAN BIBLIOGRAPHY OF FSL RESEARCH
CPF published the annotated Bibliography of Articles and Books on Bilingualism in Education. Since then, CPF has kept members and others informed of research into FSL learning and bilingualism through its newsletters, books, pamphlets, and, later, the website.1979
FIRST ARTICLE ON CORE FRENCH
National newsletter #7 discussed the reasons for disappointing results from core French and suggested solutions.
Branches and offices are established to service 10 provinces and 2 territories. There are 26,000 members across the country.
FIRST ARTICLE ON THE SUITABILITY OF IMMERSION FOR ALL STUDENTS
One of the articles in CPF’s first book reviewed the research to date on the suitability of French immersion for students experiencing a variety of learning challenges.