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Provincial plaque commemorates the Franco-Ontarian Flag

SUDBURY - Today, the Ontario Heritage Trust, in partnership with the University of Sudbury and l’Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario (ACFO) du grand Sudbury, unveiled a provincial plaque commemorating the Franco-Ontarian flag. First raised at the University of Sudbury on September 25, 1975, the flag endures today as a symbol of Ontario’s diverse francophone community and represents more than 400 years of French presence in Ontario.

The plaque unveiling is part of the annual flag raising ceremony hosted by the University of Sudbury and ACFO du Grand Sudbury to celebrate Franco-Ontarian Day.

The provincial plaque reads as follows:

The Franco-Ontarian Flag

The Franco-Ontarian Flag was first raised at the University of Sudbury on September 25, 1975, at a time when Sudbury was experiencing unprecedented growth in Franco-Ontarian arts and culture. Conceived by Gaétan Gervais, historian at Laurentian University, and student Michel Dupuis, the first flag was made by Jacline England, a student and staff member at the university. Refusing to take sole credit for the flag, its creators hoped that the Franco-Ontarian community would claim it as their own and a committee was formed to promote it. The flag was adopted as a unifying symbol during times of struggle and resistance, such as the Penetanguishene school crisis of 1979 and the SOS Montfort campaign in Ottawa in 1997. In 2001, the Ontario Legislature officially recognized the flag as the emblem of the Ontario French-speaking community. Since 2010, Franco-Ontarian Day has been celebrated annually on September 25. Today, the green and white flag with the French lily and the Ontario trillium endures as the most prominent symbol of the province’s diverse francophone community and represents more than 400 years of the French presence in Ontario.

Quotes

"The commemoration of the Franco-Ontario flag celebrates an important milestone in the rich and diverse history of Ontario. Conceived from the imaginations of three young students and adopted across the province, it is a symbol of the strength, dedication and the vibrant culture of Ontario’s Franco-Ontarian community." – Harvey McCue (Waubageshig), Chair, Ontario Heritage Trust

"The Franco-Ontarian flag symbolizes the deeply rooted history of the francophone community in Ontario. I am thrilled that through this provincial heritage plaque we are commemorating the flag and also honouring our francophone culture and the nearly 612,000 francophone people who live here." – Eleanor McMahon, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport

"The plaque that is being unveiled today is an essential sign of recognition and a dedication of this flag. It proudly reminds us of the contribution that Ontario’s Francophone community has made to the development of Ontario’s society and to the province’s diversity and prosperity in terms of human, social, cultural and economic development." – Marie-France Lalonde, Minister of Francophone Affairs, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services

"The University of Sudbury is proud of its history and its contribution towards the Francophone community. The flag is of vital importance to us and represents our ongoing commitment as Franco-Ontarians." – Sylvie Renault, Registrar and Director of Recruitment and Communications, University of Sudbury

"A little over 40 years ago, the Franco-Ontarian flag was raised for the very first time, in front of the University of Sudbury. We are thrilled that this recognition of the historical importance of this flag to our community is taking place during the Canada and Ontario’s 150th anniversary year." – Lyse Lamothe, Board president, l’ACFO du grand Sudbury

Quick facts

  • The provincial plaque will be permanently installed at the University of Sudbury, 935 Ramsey Lake Road, Sudbury.
  • The Ontario Heritage Trust’s Provincial Plaque Program commemorates provincially significant people, places and events in Ontario’s history. Since 1956, 1,280 provincial plaques have been unveiled.

Learn more

Contact

For more information about the Ontario Heritage Trust and the Provincial Plaque Program, contact Kimberly Murphy at 416-325-5074 or kimberly.murphy@heritagetrust.on.ca.

The Ontario Heritage Trust is an agency of the Government of Ontario dedicated to identifying, preserving, protecting and promoting Ontario’s heritage.

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