University of Vermont

University Communications

UVM to Host March 20 Conference on French-Canadian Migration

A group of boys working at a woolen mill in Winooski, Vermont circa 1910. The youngest is 13, the, oldest 15. Most Vermont millworkers at the time were French-Canadian. (Courtesy: Library of Congress Lewis Hine collection)

The University of Vermont will host an international conference on March 20 highlighting the historical, cultural and economic contributions made by French Canadians from Quebec who migrated to Vermont and New England. The conference, called French Connections/Franconnexions, will take place from 9 to 3:30 in the Davis Center on the UVM campus. Registration is required. 

Between 1830 and 1930, some 900,000 immigrants from Quebec poured into New England, populating towns and villages and starting new businesses and farms. The influence of these new settlers on the region was vast, from politics to culture to the economy. Nearly one out of four Vermonters are direct descendants of this international migration.

The focus of the conference will be on the past, present and future of these cross-border migrations and relationships.

Presenters will include:

  • Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and la Francophonie, Government of Québec
  • Leslie Choquette, Director of the French Institute at Assumption College
  • David Massell, Professor of History and Director, Center for Canadian Studies, University of Vermont
  • Susan Pinette, Director of the Franco-American Centre, University of Maine
  • Ernest Pomerleau, French Honorary Consul in Burlington, Pomerleau Real Estate
  • Carole Salmon, Chair of World Languages and Cultures, University of Massachusetts, Lowell
  • Adeline Simenon, Director, Paul, Frank & Collins
  • Chris Louras, Mayor, City of Rutland, Vermont
  • Phil Scott, 82nd Governor, State of Vermont
  • Mary Rice-DeFosse, Professor of French & Francophone Studies, Bates College
  • Mark P. Richard, Professor of History and Canadian Studies, SUNY Plattsburgh

A continental breakfast at 8 a.m. will precede the conference. Following the last panel, a special flag raising ceremony and reception will take place in downtown Burlington. Registration is $35, which includes breakfast, lunch, coffee breaks and invitation to the reception. Registration scholarships and student discounts are available. 

For more information, including about scholarships and discounts, contact Richard Watts at or 802-373-1131; David Massell at or 802-656-3180; or visit the conference website.