50 years of French... Against All Expectations!

Mar 15, 2018


[Communiqué de presse]

La Cité universitaire francophone and the Bac en éducation française program will be celebrating the 20th Rendez-vous de la Francophonie on Thursday, March 15 during a social gathering with the theme “50 years of French.” On this occasion, students, faculty and staff from La Cité and the Bac will host members of the community and all friends of French for a convivial evening around a buffet and a drink.

The highlight of the evening will be the launch of the book Against All Expectations by Michael Poplyansky and Abdoulaye Yoh, published by Éditions de la Francophonie. The work tells the history of the creation and development of the French fact on the University of Regina campus.

In fact, fifty years after the establishment of the Bilingual Studies Centre on what was then the Regina campus of the University of Saskatchewan, the history of the Francophone institutional presence at this Canadian Prairie university remains largely unknown. And while it serves to remind “locals” of the events in which they participated, the book goes beyond the local to demonstrate the resilience of an institution in a minority environment. From the transition from Church to State to the celebration of intermingling identities, this institutional history provides a window on the French-speaking Canada of yesterday, today and tomorrow.  

Michael Poplyansky has been a professor at La Cité universitaire francophone since September 2015. Before moving to Regina, he was a professor in the Humanities Department at Université Sainte-Anne in Nova Scotia for two years. A historian by training, he has published a number of studies of contemporary Acadian nationalism.  

Abdoulaye Yoh is Director, Administration and Finance, at La Cité universitaire francophone. He holds a doctorate in education from Simon Fraser University and has worked at the University of Regina since 2005. His research focuses on leadership, organizational change and community development.

Those attending the event will also get a sneak peek at an exhibition of approximately 30 photos and document reproductions taken from the book which should bring back many memories for those who played a part in the history of the Francophone community on campus. The exhibition will continue in La Rotonde at La Cité until the end of the summer.

The event is free and open to everyone. It will take place in La Rotonde at La Cité universitaire francophone at the University of Regina (Language Institute Building LI 216) from 5 until 7 p.m. Free parking is available in lot 13M at the University of Regina.

More events and activities related to the 50th anniversary, particularly those offered by La Cité’s research centre (CRFM), will be announced on La Cité’s website. La Cité and the Bac warmly invite you to join us by taking part in these celebrations!


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