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Upcoming Events:

  • 04/12/2017: An evening with author Paul Paré, Wed. 12 April at 7PM at the Franco-American Centre. Free and open to the public. Pizza and soup served at 6:30PM.Paul Paré will present excerpts from his recent writings. His novel Road Kill gives homelessness a face and a story. A seriously noir account, the book includes among its New England characters a school principal caught in a sex sting operation and a visionary who see evil and death in people’s faces. They make their way to Florida where they encounter a group of squatters in a hurricane-devastated trailer park, plus an assortment of dumpster divers, drag queens and church ladies on a mission, Published in 2015 by Piscataqua Press of Portsmouth, NH, Road Kill received the 2016 Finalist Award from the Independent Publishers of New England.His first novel Singing the Vernacular published in 2008 was set largely in Maine as will be his next novel, scheduled for later this year and tentatively titled The Obituary Girl.Paul Paré was a reporter for the Lewiston Evening Journal in the late 1960s and into the 1970s and was one of the founders of the Franco-American Festival. He later worked in radio and television, receiving an Emmy in 1980 for work at NH Public RV for the children’s series The Franco File.
  • 04/28/2017: Franco-American film mini-festival, Part I: “Les Magasins,” a 48-minute documentary exploring the history of small, family-owned grocery stores located on Sand Hill, Augusta throughout the 1900s. Film showing and Q&A with director Norm Roberge begins at 7PM Fri. 28 April. Free and open to the public. The film will be shown on the University of Maine campus. More location details coming soon.
  • 04/29/2017: Franco-American film mini-festival, Part II: “Un Américain: Un portrait de Luc Levasseur.” Film showing and Q&A with Pierre Marier, director, and Ray “Luc” Levasseur, and Joseph Jackson of the Maine Prisoner Advocacy Coalition. Begins at 7PM Sat. 29 April. Free and open to the public. For more info about the film, go to The film will be shown on the University of Maine campus. More location details coming soon.
  • 04/28-30/2017: Rassemblement, Franco-American creatives gathering. For more information and to register, go here.
  • 05/01/2017: A free workshop by George Findlen, certified genealogist, will be held at the Centre (110 Crossland Hall across from the Alfond Arena), Mon. 01 May, 2-8:15PM. Co-sponsored with the Penobscot County Genealogical Society. For more information, contact or 581-3789.


    2-3pm: Using Standard Histories to Find Elusive Relatives: Many of us have studied only political and military history, both at the K-12 level and later undergraduate level of our education. If we studied history at the graduate level, it was of our occupation with courses like educational history, music history, the history and philosophy of science, and so forth. As a result, when we work on our family’s history we often overlook industrial, regional, and local histories as sources of information about our families. (And this is not to mention the rich resource of social histories, which describe different aspects of how our ancestors lived daily life.)

    3:15-4:15pm: How to Tell if Your French-Canadian Ancestors Include Acadians: The talk is likewise a How-To presentation of the steps researchers should follow in order to ferret out which French-Canadian ancestors descend from Acadians (the original European settlers of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick). The talk goes best with a group of Acadian and French-Canadian researchers.

    6-7pm: Finding What Can’t Be Found: A Case Study in Whole Family Research: This talk describes all the reference works used by Acadian and French-Canadian researchers in an effort to identify the parents of a woman who is well documented as a mother. The point of this segment of the talk is that reliance upon secondary sources and on baptismal and marriage entries in parish registers often leads to dead ends. The talk then describes an effort to examine the baptismal and marriage records of every one of the woman’s children and every one of her nephews and nieces as well as the marriage records of all the woman’s possible brothers and sisters. The talk finishes by illustrating how genealogists can use indirect evidence to establish a firm link between two generations. The talk is pure how-to and is aimed at an audience of French-Canadian researchers willing to go from intermediate skill to advanced. The talk is based on an article published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

    7:15-8:15pm: Using the 1917 Code of Canon Law to Understand Odd Entries in Catholic Parish Registers: Re- searchers who work a lot with microfilmed Catholic parish registers come across an odd entry from time to time which is not the standard formula. Whenever that happens, the Code of Canon Law is an easily accessed and inexpensive resource which can explain what is going on. The talk goes best with a group which does a lot of research in microfilmed copies of French-Canadian Catholic parish registers. Examples taken up include an explanation for why a burial was never entered into the parish register, why a practicing Catholic went over 100 miles away to marry before a Justice of the Peace, why a bishop ordered punishment for a young couple seeking to marry, why a couple had to repeat their vows several years after they had married, and why a priest would refer to an illegitimate child as the product of “incestuous commerce” between a widower and the sister of his deceased wife. The talk helps those who work a lot with microfilmed Catholic parish registers to learn about a resource which explains what is in those registers that most of us never notice, must less come to under- stand. This talk best meets the needs of French-Canadian researchers who work extensively with microfilmed copies of Catholic parish registers. The talk is based on an article published in the National Genealogical Society Quarterly.

    For more information, contact or 581-3789.

Weekly Events:

  • After-School French Program – The fourth six-week session of the academic year began Mar. 20. Sessions are held Mondays and Wednesdays from 3:00-5:00. For more information about the program and next year’s sessions, contact Program Director Susan Pinette at or (207) 581-3791.
  • Community French Group Meeting – every Tuesday at 2:00 unless otherwise noted – open to the public! – for more information, contact Lisa Michaud (207-581-3789 or

Past Events:

  • 04/03/2017: A reading by author Jane Martin, Mon. Mar. 4 at 7PM at the Franco-American Centre.
  • 03/31/2017: Happenings Series event, Fri. Mar. 31 at 6PM at the Franco-American Centre, featuring Arro, Kellen O’Hara, Nyari Patterson, Kiana Thayer, Micah Valliere.
  • 03/23/2017: Thurs. Mar. 23 at 7PM at the Franco-American Centre, an evening with Abby Paige, performing a reading of “Tous mes cousins / All My Cousins,” a work in progress.
  • 02/23/2017: Happenings Series event, Fri. Feb. 23 at 6PM at the Franco-American Centre. Featuring Emma Barnes, Maia Dendinger, Zach Wood, Paul Eaton, George Church.
  • 02/14/2017: Une soirée dans la salle paroissiale,” Tues. Feb. 14 at 7PM at the Franco-American Centre. An evening of theater, featuring four monologues in French by playwright Grégoire Chabot, performing as his Franco-American character Jean Arrache. Free and open to the public. Soup and pizza served before.
  • 02/03/2017: Happenings Series event, Fri. Mar. 3 at 6PM at the Franco-American Centre. Featuring Tori Hood, Mitchell Dallas Herring, Chris Mares, Prateek Kunwar, Morghen Tidd.
  • 11/08/2016: (7-10PM) Une soirée électorale en français aura lieu le mardi 8 novembre au Franco-American Center de 19h à 22h. Simon-Pier Labelle-Hogue, animateur.
  • 11/15/2016: Happenings Series event, Tues. Nov. 15 at 5:30PM at the Franco-American Centre. Featuring Austin Bragdon, Peter Lowe, and Shannon Scarlett.
  • 11/03-06/2016: Franco-American Programs participated Nov. 3-6 in the American Council for Québec Studies biennial conference, “Échanges / Exchanges : conversations, commerce, communautés / conversations, commerce, communities,” at the Westin Harborview Hotel in Portland, ME. The Franco-American Programs  presented a panel discussion on Thursday, including undergraduate research. More new undergraduate research from Franco-American Studies was also  presented Friday. And Program Director Susan Pinette  both presented her research and conducted a Maine Franco-American writers panel on Saturday.
  • 11/02/2016: Mercredi, le 2 novembre, nous accueillerons Alexandre Couture Gagnon de l’Université du Texas Rio Grande Valley. Elle viendra présenter une conférence intitulée : « Interventions du gouvernement du Québec visant à promouvoir la langue française aux États-Unis depuis les années 1970 ». La conférence sera en français. Elle aura lieu à 12 :30 au Franco-American Center. Des boîtes à lunch seront offertes au public. La présentation est organisée par le Canadian-American Center et le Franco-American Center. Pour plus d’informations :  Wednesday, November 2, at 12:30pm, Professor Alexandre Couture Gagnon will give a talk at the Franco-American Centre on the Quebec government’s efforts to promote French in the US. The talk will be in French. This free event is sponsored by the Canadian-American Center. Lunch is provided. Please join us. For more information, please contact
  • 10/25/2016: Inaugural Happenings Series event, Tues. Oct. 25 at 5PM at the Franco-American Centre, featuring Tessa Hathaway, Kat Dubois, Julie Miller and Reuben Dendinger.
  • 09/28/2016: “The 14th Amendment in Franco-American Life,” noon to 2 p.m. at the Franco American Centre. A panel discussion will explore questions of citizenship and the Franco-American experience with respect to the 14th Amendment (passed 1868), wherein the U.S. made distinctions between citizens and noncitizens, between those who had a right to be in the country and those who — without that right — could be deported. The impact of the Amendment on Franco-Americans wasn’t particularly felt until, throughout the 1920s, the United States increasingly regulated and closed the border with Canada, affecting the migratory patterns and, as a consequence, the Franco-American community. As a case study, in 1938, Claudia Breton Emond was arrested in Biddeford, Maine, and deported to Thetford Mines, Canada, the town she had left in 1927. Her daughter, born in Thetford Mines during a two-week vacation, was deported in 1939 when she was 9 years old. The deportations and enforcement of the border were a harsh contrast to the way Emond and her family had regularly crossed back and forth between the countries for work since 1899. The panel will use Emond’s story to discuss how and why the changing definition of citizenship affected the Franco-American community, as well as immigration and citizenship in America today. Panel members:  Patrick Lacroix, Dissertation Year Fellow at the University of New Hampshire; James Myall, co-author of “The Franco-Americans of Lewiston-Auburn” and writer of “Parlez-Vous American?,” a BDN blog on Franco-American history, culture and people; and David Vermette, a researcher, writer and blogger of “French North America.”The event is free and open to the public. A light lunch will be provided. For more information or to request a disability accommodation, contact Lisa Michaud (207) 581-3789 or Susan Pinette (207) 581-3791. The event is funded by the Maine Humanities Council and Franco American Programs at UMaine.
  • 09/22/2016: MOU Task Force on Maine-New Brunswick Cultural Initiatives/Groupe de travail sur le protocole d’entente entre le Maine et le Nouveau-Brunswick sur les initiatives culturelles, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. (EST), CoeSpace: 48 Columbia St., Bangor, ME.  Susan Pinette, Director of Franco American Programs, will host a Special Guest conversation from 12:15-12:45 for Task Force members and invited guests. Note: From 5-7PM there will be a public reception for the New Brunswick Art Bank exhibit “Contemporary Currents: 9 New Brunswick Artists” at the University of Maine Museum of Art, 40 Harlow St. Bangor, ME.
  • 09/20/2016: “In and Out of War in Franco-American Communities: Soldiers, Veterans, and Their Families,” 5-7 p.m., Franco-American Collection, Room 170, University Southern Maine-Lewiston-Auburn College, 51 Westminster Street, Lewiston. Susan Pinette, Director of Franco American Programs, and Lisa Michaud, Coordinator of Community Engagement of Franco American Programs, will be speaking at the Franco-American Collection as part its “Franco-Americans During Wartime: A Heritage of Service” program.  The talk will be an exploration of how military service is both a disruption to ethnic identity and a means to strengthen it.  The speakers will look at Franco-American literature and at real-world examples.  At the end of the evening, audience members will be welcome to join in and discuss how their wartime experiences either drew them closer to their home community or separated them from it. A reception at 5:00 pm will celebrate the new academic year; the talk will begin at 6 pm. Free and open to the public. Visit for more information, call 753-6545, or email
  • 6/23/2016:  Maine History and Culture: Minority Issues (French and Native American Cultures and Management Policies),  9AM -12 noon, Franco-American Centre – University of Maine.
  • 6/18/2016: Exploring the Possibility of Publishing Your Family’s Story: Presentation and Discussion, 10 – Noon, Franco-American Centre – University of Maine.
  • 5/7/2016:  Finding Your Quebec & Acadian Ancestors, 10 AM – Noon, Franco-American Centre – University of Maine, with  genealogist Bob Chenard.
  • 4/22-24/2016: Fifteenth Annual Franco-American Gathering at Walpole.
  • 4/14/2016: Jane Martin: Readings from published work and classroom discussions.
  • 3/25/2016: Greg Chabot: A bilingual lecture on and demonstration of Franco-American and Continental French.
  • 3/16/2016: 2016 Franco-American Day, Capitol Building, Augusta.
  • 2/9/2016: Annual Mardi Gras Potluck Celebration
  • 12/23/2015: Fall 2015 Franco American Programs Fall Newsletter:
  • 12/11/2015: Holiday Potluck Gathering
  • 11/06/2015: Film of the Month: “Minuscule: Valley of the Lost Ants”
  • 10/26/2015: Paré Book Reading
  • 9/15/2015: Dedication ceremony for the Adrien Lanthier Ringuette Library
  • 8/31/2015: Potluck supper & free concert by Le Bruit Court dans la Ville
  • 7/11-15/2015: L’Hermione Visit to Castine and Maine
  • 6/28/2015: La Recolte Band
  • 6/16/2015: Genealogy workshop
  • 4/24 – 26/2015: Franco American Gathering 2015
  • 3/18/2015: Fourteenth Annual Franco-American Day
  • 3/17/2015: Conference: “Francophonie of the Americas”
  • 3/17/2015: A Screening & Discussion of «Un Rêve Américain» (“An American Dream”)
  • 2/17/2015: Mardi Gras Potluck Celebration (See video excerpts and photos.)
  • 1/07/2015: Cathie Pelletier at the Centre
  • 12/12/2014: Holiday Gathering
  • 10/27/2014: Ringuette Collection
  • 10/03/2014: Michaud Reception
  • 5/16-18/2014: Annual Gathering of Writers and Artists, Franco American Centre, Orono, ME
  • 4/25-26/2014: “In and Out of Place: Finding Home in Franco America” : UMHI spring symposium
  • 4/21-23/2014: Film Series
  • 12/13/2013: “Potluck” Holiday Gathering
  • 11/22/2013: FILM: Down by the River’s Edge
  • 11/06/2013: Kristin Langellier: “Memere, Meme, and Me: Grandmothers Storytelling”
  • 10/18/2013: Don Levésque and le Congrès Mondial Acadien
  • 10/12/2013: Josée Vachon Concert
  • 5/17-5/19, 2013: Gathering of Franco American Writers and Artists, Darling Marine Center, Walpole ME
  • 2/12/2013: MARDI GRAS Pot Luck Party
  • 11/29/2012: Kitchen Party at the Franco-American Centre with Cindy Larock and others
  • 11/03/2012: Concert with Josée Vachon
  • 10/24/2012: Book Reading & Signing with Susan Poulin
  • 10/24/2012: Meeting of the Maine State Legislature’s Task Force on Franco-Americans
  • 4/2012: Franco-American Film Series
  • 3/22/2012: Talk and Book Signing with Jacques Poitras
  • 2/21/2012: Mardi Gras Celebration