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Franco Center plans special programs for Francophone Month

On March 15, more than 80 students from Freeport’s L’Ecole Française du Maine will perform the opera “Le Bonheur Selon Les E’Leves de L.’E.F.D.M.” (“Happiness, According to the Students of the L.’E.F.D.M.”).

In observance of New England’s Le Mois de la Francophonie (Francophone Month) 2018, the Gendron Franco Center will present several special programs in March.

Following the center’s next La Rencontre on Thursday, March 15, more than 80 children in preschool through grade five from L’Ecole Française du Maine in Freeport will perform the opera “Le Bonheur Selon Les E’Leves de L’E.F.D.M.” (“Happiness, According to the Students of the French School of Maine”). The performance is free and open to the public.

Before the performance, the meal at 11:25 a.m. will be corned beef and cabbage with red potatoes, carrots, turnips, rolls, and cake. The cost of the meal is $12 per person. Guests may contact the center to make reservations at 783-1585 or

La Rencontre is in no way restricted to French-speakers or even those of Franco descent. All are invited to attend this fun monthly meal and event as long as spots remain open.

The center will present the movie “Paul à Québec” on Monday, March 19 at 6:30 p.m. Part of the TV5MON-Days French Film Series, this 2015 drama is about a Montreal couple, Paul and Lucie, looking for a house to buy where they can raise their daughter properly. The event is free and open to all. 

The center will team up with the Franco-American Collection at USM’s Lewiston-Auburn College to present two events on Wednesday, March 28.

At 2:30 p.m. in L-A College’s Room 170, writer and journalist Julie-Ann Baumer will discuss “The Unique Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul,” followed by a cabaret-style sing-along with Les Troubadours. This event is free and open to the public. L-A College is located at 51 Westminster Street in Lewiston.

At 5 p.m. at the Franco Center, there will be a public Celebration and Reception, including a presentation of the flags and singing of the anthems of Canada, France and Québec. Several leaders from the Maine Francophone-Francophile communities will be recognized at this event. To RSVP, please call or email the box office.

The children’s opera on March 15 is part of the 2018 Francophonie celebrations of French language and culture organized annually by the Consulates of France and Canada and the Government of Québec. L’Ecole Française du Maine is approved by the Maine Department of Education and accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, the French Ministry of Education, and la Mission Laïque Française.

The March 28 events are sponsored the Québec Government and TV5MONDE USA, the global French-language entertainment network. Offering the best television programs from France, Belgium, Switzerland, and Canada, TV5MONDE broadcasts 24/7 without commercial interruptions. It can be found locally on Spectrum Cable at Channel 71. 

Wheelchair accessible, the Gendron Franco Center is located on the corner of Cedar and Oxford Streets in the “Little Canada” section of Lewiston, just across the bridge from New Auburn. For more information, call 783-1585.

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