Welcome ~ Bienvenue
How did the American and Canadian French Cultural Exchange Commission come into being?
The Commission, which owes much to the foresight and input of Rev. Thomas M. Landry, O.P., came into being July 1968, when Senator Joseph D. Ward and Representatives Raymond M. Lafontaine and Angelo Picucci presented enabling legislation for its creation. The Commission's full title is the American and Canadian French Cultural Exchange Commission of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is under the aegis of the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development.
Why was the Commission created?
- to establish, develop, and maintain cultural ties between the Franco-Americans, the French Canadians, and the French.
- to foster a special interest in the history and culture, as well as in the economic, political, social, and artistic life of the countries involved: the United States, Canada, and France.
- to promote the study of the French language and an understanding of French culture in the schools of the Commonwealth
What are the objectives of the Commission as defined by the Commissioners?
The American and Canadian French Cultural Exchange Commission defines its objectives as follows:
- to develop exchange programs between the Commonwealth and French Canada and between the Commonwealth and France for all age groups and in diverse areas of interest: in education - by distributing pertinent pedagogical materials supporting the development of programs for the study of French language and culture; in the arts - by arranging lecture tours, performances by musicians and actors, as well as exhibits by painters and sculptors; in business- by encouraging better communications and joint ventures.
- to publish pamphlets and books for use in the schools and by the citizens of the Commonwealth: clarifying the historic and human dimensions of the Franco-American experience in the industrial centers of Massachusetts;
promoting tourism to the Commonwealth.
Was the Commission granted funds for its activities and projects?
Yes and No. The first allocation was made in August of 1969. The 1970-1971 budget and subsequent budgets contained the same amount. Lean years followed, however. Presently, the Commission has no operating budget. It would gladly accept contributions from societies, foundations, and individuals interested in promoting the objectives of the Commission.
What has the Commission realized to date?
- Undertook, with Le Comite de Vie Franco-Americane, a census of the FrancoAmerican population of Massachusetts.
- Contributed to the establishment of a Canadian Area Studies Program at North Adams State College and encouraged the elaboration of a Canadian Studies program in the Massachusetts state college system. This resulted in the exchange of professors as well as students.
- Promoted student exchanges with French Canada by sending Franco-American students to a 5-week French language session at the Centre linguistique du Saguenay at Jonqui6re, Quebec, at the expense of the Province of Quebec, and by organizing regular tours of the Freedom Trail in Boston for groups of Canadian students participating in an exchange program.
- Met with high-ranking Quebec provincial government representatives to establish a "Joint Commission on Quebec-Massachusetts Cooperation."
- Presented French-Canadian artists in various cities of the Commonwealth to bring French culture closer to the people of Massachusetts.
- Took an active role in "Quebec Month" at the Prudential Center in December of 1974.
- Helped other states in New England to establish a Cultural Exchange Commission of their own and instituted steps which led to the creation of a "Central Commission."
- Organized a week-long celebration of French, Quebec, Acadian, and FrancoAmerican culture at the State House during the 1976 Bicentennial Year.
- Prepared an illustrated book in French and an accompanying Teacher Guide, in English, on French contributions to the city of Boston. This was published by the federally-funded National Materials Development Center.
- Coordinated a Lafayette Poster and Essay Contest. With the assistance of the French Institute of Assumption College, the contest was open to all students of the Commonwealth at the elementary and secondary levels of both public and private schools. This was held in conjunction with Lafayette Day, May 1988.
- Underwrote the preparation of a tourist guide pointing out all the "French connections" to be found in Southeastern Massachusetts.
Subsidized the co-publication, with the French Institute ofAssumption College, of a book of activities in social studies, for students of the Commonwealth, in Grades 5-9, to sensitize them to the contributions of the French in the development of this country.
- Endorsed the preparation by the French Institute of Assumption College of the text of a bilingual flyer entitled "The French Heritage Trail in Boston"
Henry P. Ares
Gary Crosby Brasor, Ph.D.
Patricia A. Kennedy
Wilfrid J. Michaud, Jr., Esq.
Marthe Biron Ploquin
Claire H. Quintal, Ph.D., Chair
Normand E. Ouellette