Governments of Canada and Ontario announce support for École de la Rivière‑des-Français

News release

NOELVILLE, Ontario, May 25, 2023

Developing minority-language education in Canada depends on communities being able to have the appropriate facilities. This is why funding infrastructure for the economic, cultural and community development of Francophone minority schools is essential to their prosperity.

Today, Marc G. Serré, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Official Languages and Member of Parliament (Nickel Belt), announced more than $1.6 million in joint funding for an important project for the Franco‑Ontarian community and École de la Rivière‑des-Français. He made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

The project aims to create the French River Youth, Economic and Community Development Centre. In concrete terms, the investment will provide the Francophone community of Noelville with:

  • a place to host shows and celebrations in French;
  • a place housing trades and technologies workshops for the French River Cultural Industries Council;
  • a fully renovated greenhouse for greenhouse production projects.

The Government of Canada is providing $829,000 over two years for this project, while the Government of Ontario is investing $856,500 over three years.

The project is funded under the Canada–Ontario Agreement for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction for the period from 2019–20 to 2022–23.


“Thanks to our government’s firm commitment to creating more opportunities for our official language minority communities to come together, and to the dynamic leadership of institutions like École de la Rivière-des-Français, we’re able to find constructive and innovative solutions leading to the creation of community spaces for Francophone communities in minority settings.”

The Honourable Ginette Petitpas Taylor, Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

“Thanks to the funding announced today, the community will now enjoy a community centre that brings together all the services it needs. I am proud to announce this important investment for the redevelopment of certain spaces at École de la Rivière-des-Français.”

—Marc G. Serré, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Official Languages and Member of Parliament (Nickel Belt)

“I am proud to know that the Noelville community will benefit from this investment, which will clear the way for a centre focused on youth, community and economic development. The new community centre will provide Francophone students with access to a modern space where they can learn and celebrate Francophone culture for generations to come.”

— The Honourable Stephen Lecce, Ontario Minister of Education

“We are thrilled and appreciative that the government will be supporting this worthwhile project. This program will encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among our youth, and we hope this will go a long way in addressing the problem of rural exodus. I look forward to working collaboratively with all our community partners to ensure the success of the program.”

—Gisèle Pageau, Mayor, Municipality of French River

“We are delighted to receive this funding, which will make it possible to revitalize our facilities, improve accessibility and create welcoming spaces while supporting the region’s social and economic development. Over the years, École de la Rivière-des-Français has become not only a renowned educational institution, but also an essential gathering place in this community. This investment will allow us to come together and collaborate better with our partners to build a healthy, strong and prosperous community.”

—Anne-Marie Gélineault, Chair, Conseil scolaire du Grand Nord

Quick facts

  • École de la Rivière-des-Français in Noelville hosts about 100 students. It is the only French-language high school in an area with more than 1,150 Francophones.

  • Budget 2021 proposes $81.8 million in funding for Canadian Heritage over a two-year period, beginning in 2021–22, to support the construction, renovation and development of educational and community spaces serving official-language minority communities.

  • Government of Canada funding was provided through the Official Languages Support Programs, which aim to enhance the vitality of English- and French-speaking minority communities and promote English and French in Canadian society.

  • On March 1, 2022, the Government of Canada introduced an enhanced bill aimed at substantive equality among Canada’s official languages and to adapt the Official Languages Act to a changing society. Among other objectives, this bill will respond to the decline of French in the country, clarify and strengthen the part of the Official Languages Act concerning the promotion of official languages, and support official-language minority communities.

Associated links


For more information (media only), please contact:

Marianne Blondin
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Official Languages and Minister responsible for Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage

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