Join the many programs and celebrations!

Répondez, s’il vous plaît:  An exhibit reception opening for the “Notre Pain Quotidien: Franco-American Entrepreneurs Sustaining Community”, is scheduled at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College hosted by the Franco-American Collection, on March 19, from 5-7 PM.

Franco-American entrepreneur families will be recognized. This exhibit will contribute to the Maine 2020 Bicentennial History seminars, events and programs currently planned throughout the state and is scheduled during the March, international “Month of the Francophonie”.

Congressman Mike Michaud

MIke Michaud will be the keynote speaker at the March 19, Franco-American exhibit opening at the USM LAC campus.

Michael Michaud, Maine’s former Congressman and a Franco-American, will be a special guest speaker at the exhibit opening.  “I’m delighted, and honored to meet and recognize some of the Franco-American families who helped to build the economy in Androscoggin County. These entrepreneurs sustained the daily needs of the workforce who were essential to build the successful manufacturing industries along the Androscoggin River,” he says.

A ceremony will be held at the reception for the signing of a Fleur-de-lis agreement between the Franco-American Collection (FAC) and the Quebec Delegation in New England. Diplomatic representatives Marie-Claude Francoeur  and Joee Marie Duquette will participate with Doris Bonneau, who is a member of the FAC board.

Details about March 19:  Notre Pain Quotidien: Franco-American Entrepreneurs Sustaining Community. The purpose of this exhibit is to celebrate the economic contributions made by French-Canadian and Franco-American entrepreneurs, to support the essential needs of immigrants who arrived by the thousands in Lewiston and Auburn during the late 19th and into the early 20th centuries. Many of the immigrants were recruited to work in Androscoggin County’s manufacturing mills. This event will be presented in the USM LAC college Atrium, presented by the Franco-American Collection. Guests include representatives from the business families recognized in the exhibit program: the Lepage bakery, the Bonneau markets, the Leblanc bleachery, and cleaning and the Marcotte furniture companies.

More information about this exhibit is at this link- site here.

USM LAC is located at 51 Westminster Street in Lewiston. Plenty of free parking. RSVP for this free exhibit and program by calling the FAC at (207) 753-2545.

Oui! And, yes, there’s more!

American Canadian Maine France and Quebec flags

International celebrations during the Month of the Francophonie are scheduled throughout the USA, Canada, Maine, France and Quebec.  In Lewiston the month’s schedule is packed with seminars and two exhibits: one is at USM LAC and the other is at Museum L-A.

Additionally, an interesting series of events and programs are scheduled in March during the international month of the Francophonie. The series are presented in collaboration with L’Alliance Francaise, with the Franco American Collection at the University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College, the Gendron Franco Center for Heritage and the Performing Arts and the Museum L-A in Lewiston.

On March 19, at the Gendron Franco Center for Heritage and the Performing Arts:

La Renconte beginning at 10:00 AM -1:30 PM, with a meal. Cost is $12 a person. The March 19 program will include a performance by the children in l’École Francaise du Maine (The French School in Maine), from Freeport,  performing at 12:30 PM.

And….Lewiston Public Library on Lisbon Street – Thursday, March 19: Great Falls Forum, 12:00-1:00: Address by Emmanuel Kayembe, Franco-American Collection Fellow, Scholar for Franco-American Studies and Instructor of French, University of Southern Maine/Lewiston-Auburn College. Location is at the Portland Public Library, bring a bag lunch at 11:15 AM, the program begins at noon. This program is free.

Other March programs: 

Friday March 6, 2020: Conference: “The Current Challenges of a Plural and Diverse Francophonie in the USA”, Professor Hanétha Vété-Congolo, Bowdoin College. Reception to follow. Starting time 6:00 pm.  Location at the USM LAC in room 170.

Tuesday March 10, 2020: Film: “Voyageurs 1608–200 years of French presence in N. America” (Director: Jean Dulon), after movie meeting with the producer, Alban Maino, the Maine Film Association. Starting time 6:00 pm. Location in room 170, at USM LAC.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020: Josee Vachon Program, 7-8:30 pm. Location at the Gendron Franco Center for Heritage and Performing Arts at 46 Cedar Street in Lewiston (formerly Saint Mary’s Church). Born in Québec, and raised in Maine, Vachon has been sharing her Franco-American upbringing for over 25 years through traditional, and contemporary folksongs from Québec, and Acadia and through her own compositions. Tickets are $20 a person call  (207) 689-2000

Monday March 23, 2020: Franco-America at the Interstice of Identities Reading Series: Ron Currie, Jr. Currie’s first book, God is Dead, earned Currie the Young Lions Fiction Award from the New York Public Library, as well as the Metcalf award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Critics praised the book’s daring mix of dark humor and earnest sentiment. Starting time 7:00 pm with an invitation to enjoy light refreshments with the FAC Board and the author beginning at 6:00 PM.

Tuesday March 31, 2020: Film: “La Voix de la prairie” “À l’ouest du Québec et de la baie d’Hudson, dans les provinces de l’Alberta, du Manitoba et du Saskatchewan, Jean Dulon fait un état des lieux de la francophonie.” (Jean Dulon). Starting time 6:00 pm. Location is in room 170 at USM LAC. Parking is free.

Ongoing exhibit at Museum L-A: “All Work and No Play” is a history of child labor in Maine at the turn of the century with highlight from Lewis Hine featuring photos from the canneries from Eastern Maine, textile, shoe and brick industries as well as farming. The exhibit is rich with images of Franco Immigrants at the turn of the century.  Location is at Museum L-A, at 35 Canal Street, Lewiston Maine.

Please check website links for any updates about the schedules. Merci!

Juliana L'Heureux

About Juliana L'Heureux

Juliana L’Heureux is a free lance writer who publishes news, blogs and articles about Franco-Americans and the French culture. She has written about the culture in weekly and bi-weekly articles, for the past 27 years.