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Francophone Legal in Alberta : Wholly Unique

'Family Sponsored' Murals Keep French Alberta's Story Alive

Legal is at the centre of the French speaking region of the Province of Alberta, an area collectively known as Centralta [encompassing Saint-Albert, Morinville and Legal]. It is just north of Edmonton and is using mural painting in the small town as a vital part of its determination to remember and communicate the history of its early French settlers, many of whom came up from the USA.

It is wholly distinctive amongst towns visited thus far for the Global Association of Mural Arts and Cultural Tourism in that its mural programme is based on inviting individual settler families to sponsor and commission their own artwork telling of their own family's contribution. The collection completed thus far is shown below, and a full publication is available at $Cdn 40 + postage from

The hosted tour led by Ginette Martel, herself the wife of one of the mural artists, now customarily begins from the historical museum of early life in the area [Le Petit Musee de Legal]. It is the brainchild and continuing responsibility of Jeaninne Thibault. She and Ginette are pictured seated in the re-created earlier settler kitchen at the Museum. Next to those pictures is the mural of the first dwelling place in Legal, a dugout home to meet residential requirements for the original land grant.

Click on all images to enlarge

Published Date: October 14th 2005

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