The Governments of Canada and Nova Scotia Announce Funding to Support Nova Scotia's Francophone University Community

CHURCH POINT, Nova Scotia, July 10, 2019

Our two official languages are at the heart of Canadian identity, and are powerful tools for the inclusion and integration of diversity into our society. The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the development of official-language minority communities and promoting bilingualism across the country.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie, along with the Honourable Gordon Wilson, Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and MLA for Clare-Digby, announced funding for the renovation and modernization of the Gustave-Blanche Building on Université Sainte-Anne's Pointe-de-l'Église campus. Located in the St. Marys Bay region, the campus is at the heart of Nova Scotia's largest Acadian population.

The project involves renovating the roof, windows and exterior cladding, as well as upgrading certain interior spaces of this heritage building built in 1899. The work will address the current and future needs of students and the community through new multipurpose rooms and offices. The fourth floor will be upgraded and connected to the Internet to allow seminars and workshops to be held, broadcast and recorded, and to accommodate classes taught by special guest speakers. The new facilities will enhance Nova Scotia's contribution to the digital Francophonie and to the French language and culture in Canada.

The Government of Canada is providing $500,000 to the Government of Nova Scotia to support the renovation and modernization of the Gustave-Blanche Building. This funding is provided for under the Community Education Infrastructure sub-component of the Action Plan for Official Languages 2018–2023: Investing in Our Future.

The Government of Nova Scotia is contributing $500,000 to the project.


“Over the centuries, Acadian communities have kept alive the vitality of their language and warm culture. For almost 130 years, Université Sainte-Anne has played a key role in promoting Acadian identity in Nova Scotia, and today it also welcomes Francophones from across Canada and around the world. We are proud to support this leading institution, which plays a vital role in raising the profile of Acadia and the Canadian Francophonie.”

—The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

“We are delighted to support efforts to broaden and strengthen the Francophone and Acadian communities in Nova Scotia. Our joint investment with the federal government will revitalize the Gustave-Blanche Building and help strengthen the teaching of French as a mother tongue. Better still, it will provide the entire community with a place they can all use.”

—The Honourable Gordon Wilson, Nova Scotia Minister of Environment and MLA for Clare-Digby, on behalf of the Honourable Zach Churchill, Minister, Education and Early Childhood Development

“This funding will allow us to restore and highlight the heritage value of the Gustave-Blanche Building, an iconic building of our university. It will meet our needs for many years to come and help us maintain our presence in the community—a key priority of Université Sainte-Anne's strategic plan.”

—Allister Surette, Rector and Vice-Chancellor of Université Sainte-Anne

Quick facts

  • Université Saint-Anne, which turns 129 this year, is a vital institution for Acadian and Francophone communities in Nova Scotia. The Gustave-Blanche Building was the first building erected on the campus. Rebuilt in 1899 after a fire, it was named in honour of one of the university's founders. 
  • The Community Education Infrastructure sub-component of the Action Plan for Official Languages provides provinces and territories with the opportunity to undertake construction projects involving school and community facilities in official-language minority communities. 
  • The Action Plan is providing an unprecedented $2.7 billion over five years, including $500 million in new funding, to support minority language communities and promote bilingualism across the country.

Associated links


Jérémy Ghio
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Tourism, Official Languages and La Francophonie

Media Relations
Canadian Heritage