Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario, Conseil régional des Mille-Îles

Speaker Series: One City, Two Realities

A meeting between anglos and francos 50 years after the Official Languages Act. 

ACFOMI is committed to the development, and vitality of Kingston’s Francophone community and the Thousand Island region.

ACFOMI is organizing a speaker’s series entitled: “One city two realities: A meeting between anglos and francos 50 years after the Official Languages Act”.

The series begins September 9th, 2019 with 17 themes that will take place over a two year period.  All speaker’s series will be recorded and  made available in Podcast on our Web Site. 

Prestigious guest speakers are invited to each session that will take place in both official languages to discuss topics that include: politics, culture, healthcare, family life, gastronomy, etc.

The Kingston Frontenac Public Library in historic downtown Kingston will host the speaker’s series in their newly renovated facilities.

This series is recommended for members of the public able to understand both official languages. 

This project will be recorded as a podcast and available as a free download from the ACFOMI website.

For more information, you can contact ACFOMI at: or 613-546-7863


September 9th 2019 at 6:30pm - Theme 1: The history of the Official Languages Act and the services available in French

The launching of the series will be presented by:

Keith Spicer PhD (1970-1977): The first Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada

Introduction topics (Keith SPICER):

  • A summary of how the Official Languages Act came to be and what challenges the first Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada faced.
  • A historical overview of the Official Languages Act and how people viewed bilingualism in the sixties and seventies.

The discussion topics (Stéphanie CHOUINARD & Kevin BRUSHETT):

  • An overview of the debates around the adoption of the Official Languages Act including steps that led to the adoption of the French Language Services Act.
  • Contemporary debates regarding proposals for amending the Official Languages Act.
  • What the different political parties are suggesting during the present election period.
  • An overview of recent events in both New Brunswick and Ontario.

The speakers:


Stéphanie Chouinard (PhD) grew up in Labrador. She holds a doctorate from the School of Political Studies of the University of Ottawa. She is the recipient of the Vanier Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and the recipient of the Baxter and Alma Ricard Foundation Scholarship. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Montreal and the University of Edinburgh before obtaining a position as an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston in January 2017. Since 2018, she has been co-affiliated with Queen’s University. Her research focuses on federalism and the rights of linguistic minorities as well as indigenous Canadians.

Kevin Brushett (PhD) is a graduate of Queen’s University and teaches at the Royal Military College of Canada in the fields of Canadian and American history. Currently he is the Department Chair. His research focuses on the relationship between civil society organizations and the Canadian state in the late 20th century. He is currently finalizing a book on the Company of Young Canadians a government sponsored community development organization that operated between 1965 and 1975. He is also researching the relationship between CSOs and the Canadian International Development Agency in sponsoring community development programs in the Global South between 1965 and 1985. Dr Brushett is the president of the Canadian International History Committee, and member of the Canadian Network for Humanitarian History, and the Interuniversity research group on the Quebec of the Sixties and its External Relations (GRIQUERE).

The Host: 

Frédéric Pepin is a video journalist for CBC/Radio-Canada since 2010, and has been working out of Kingston since 2013. His work in the field leads him to cover an array of current events.

September 26th, 2019 at 6:30pm - Theme 2: Canadian Literature and Poetry Anglophone vs. Francophone

The speakers: 

Bianca Côté was born in Montreal where she obtained her Master’s in literary studies. She has published several stories including Carnets d’une habituée in 1998, and a book of poetry entitled Un mandala dans une benne à ordures (2015). Occasional editor, production manager, proofreader and copywriter, she has worked for many years in publishing. She has also been the Program officer for the Canada Council of Arts. Since 2008, she has been teaching French as a second language to the Royal Military College of Canada in Kingston

 Eric Folsom is a Kingston poet who has long been active in the city’s literary community.  He worked for more than twenty years as a Library Assistant at the Kingston Frontenac Public Library, and helped edit the small literary magazines Next Exit and Quarry in the Eighties and Nineties.  He has published four books of poetry, mostly recently “Le Loutre: a Poetry Narrative”, which examines the Grand Dérangement of Acadia.  Born in the United States, he came to Montréal in 1969 as student at McGill.  He learned to love the complexity of Canada and has been a dual citizen since 1993.


The Host:


Johanne Bénard is a professor in the French Studies Department at Queen’s, where she teaches French and Francophone literature of the XXth century since 1989. She is also interested by contemporary literature and theatre.

Theme 3: Education (the choice of Anglophone, Immersion or Francophone schooling)

October 9th, 2019

Theme 4: Linguistic duality among seniors

November 6th, 2019

Theme 5: Local, Regional and Provincial politics – How are Francophones better served?

December 4th, 2019

  Location: The Kingston Frontenac Public Library, 130 Johnson St, Kingston, ON K7L 1X8

Reserve your free tickets on Eventbrite

Our services are funded by:

Association canadienne-française de l’Ontario, Conseil régional des Mille-Îles

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Contact us:

Barriefield Centre
760, Highway 15,
Kingston, ON K7L 0C3

(613) 546-7863
1(800) 561-4695 (toll-free)
Fax: 613 546-4695

Hours of operation:

Monday: 8:30am – 6:00pm
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday: 8:30am – 4:30pm
Friday: 8:30am – 3:00pm