Acadian and Francophone Community in Halifax

Acadian flag flying at the City Hall

Photo by The Photo Ninja

According to the 2016 Census data from Statistics Canada, the Halifax Regional Municipality has the largest Acadian and Francophone community in Nova Scotia, with 10,140 residents whose mother tongue is French, representing 2.5% of the total population of HRM and 34% of the total Francophone population across the province. In addition, it also has the largest bilingual population in the province, with 49,585 self-identified bilingual individuals, representing 12% of the total population of HRM. Francophone and bilingual individuals are quite evenly scattered across the 4 federal electoral districts in HRM, with no concentrated population in any particular neighbourhood or district.

The Acadian and Francophone community in HRM include Acadians and Francophones from across Canada as well as French-speakers from around world: the large concentration of federal and provincial government services has brought a large bilingual population to the city; the Canadian Forces Base Halifax receives numerous Francophone military families; every year, French-speaking new comers from around the globe settle in HRM as well. This all contribute to the diversity and mobility of the community, unified around the shared language.

Various organizations serve this community to address their diverse needs: Alliance française has been a cultural hub for Francophones and Francophiles alike since 1903; Conseil Communautaire du Grand-Havre has served as the spokesperson for the Acadian and Francophone community since 1991; Centre de ressources pour les familles militaires d’Halifax et régions focuses on services to French-speaking military families, whereas Immigration Francophone de la Nouvelle-Écosse provides services to support French-speaking immigrants. Many more Acadian and Francophone organizations with a provincial or national mandate have a chapter in Halifax to provide specialized French services including health care, legal services, career and business services, youth services, women’s affairs, seniors’ affairs, among others.