Celebrating Franco-Ontarian Day

Francophones across the province are celebrating their heritage today for Franco-Ontarian Day.
Serge Miville is the research chair in Franco-Ontario history at Laurentian University. (Roger Corriveau/CBC)

Francophones across the province are celebrating their heritage today for Franco-Ontarian Day.

The day lands on the anniversary of the first time the Franco-Ontarian flag was unveiled and raised in 1975 at the University of Sudbury.

Serge Miville, research chair in Franco-Ontarian history at Laurentian University, says French Canadians started thinking more about their culture following the rising sovereignist movement in the 1960s.

"So Francophone minorities in the various provinces had to sort of rethink their identities and their rapport with Quebec," he said.

Miville says the federal government passing the official languages act in 1969 also made an impact.

The Franco-Ontarian flag was first raised in Sudbury in 1975. (Erik White/CBC)

"With that comes support," he said. "The secretary of state, which is now Heritage Canada, all of a sudden started investing millions of dollars within Francophone communities."

Now, Miville says the day is to celebrate the contribution that Francophones have made.

"In Sudbury, [Francophones] are a huge part of the city's cultural fabric….we have The Théâtre Du Nouvel-Ontario,  he said.

"So there's a lot of culture that's been produced in the City of Sudbury through the Francophone lens."