‘Dear Francophones, here is your monument!' declared artist Herman Poulin in 2007, at the unveiling of his sculpture, named L'Empreinte francophone by Josée St. Laurent, a student from École Héritage in Falher. The sculpture features a fleur-de-lis, a symbol of French culture, intertwined with the Alberta wild rose, all emerging from an open book. 'Like a flame', exclaims Herman Poulin to describe the upward movement expressed in the work.
“It unites all Francophones from all over the country and all over Alberta,' said a little boy at the unveiling. What is wonderful about this sculpture is the number of people who participated in its creation. In fact, 1,166 fingerprints of Francophone children from across Alberta, collected by Poulin and his wife Brigitte, are part of the 3-metre bronze sculpture dedicated to Alberta's French-speaking communities.
Over three years, hundreds of Franco-Albertans raised the money to create this symbol of pride, which cost $360,000 to produce. This recognition of Francophones joins other sculptures on the grounds of the Legislative building that also celebrate the contributions of all those who have made Alberta a great place to live.