La Rencontre: Monthly Franco Luncheon
The Jalbert Orchestra, 1920s. The children of Arthur and Célina Simard Jalbert, from l to r:  Fern, Germaine, Conrad, Judy, Gertrude, and Gabriel. The catalyst for the family was the mother, Célina Jalbert,  who was determined that the children have as many opportunities as possible to further their education. Louis Jalbert, known as Maine’s “Mr. Democrat,” though not in this picture,played drums in the group with his brothers and sisters. (photo courtesy of the Franco-American Collection, University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn College).

The Jalbert Orchestra, 1920s. The children of Arthur and Célina Simard Jalbert, L-to-R: Fern, Germaine, Conrad, Judy, Gertrude, and Gabriel. Louis Jalbert, who would later become known as Maine’s “Mr. Democrat” and represent Lewiston for 38 years in the Maine Legislature, played drums in the group with his brothers and sisters but is not pictured here. (photo courtesy of the Franco-American Collection, University of Southern Maine Lewiston-Auburn College).

Each month we present La Rencontre (French for “the gathering”) as a way for our extended Franco-American family in the area to reconnect with each other and with our neighbors. Meals and stories are shared, friends are reunited, and memories are made.

We offer a fully catered luncheon, followed by a performance. Both the menu and the entertainment vary each month. The charge to attend is $8 and the public is invited. However, reservations are required at least four days in advance by calling the Franco Center Office at 783-1585 during regular box office hours from noon to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday (no weekend messages, please), so that we can order and prepare an appropriate amount of food.

The deadline for all calls will be 4 p.m.on the Tuesday immediately prior to the luncheon on Thursday.

Traditionally in Franco culture, big celebratory meals of this sort would include live music provided by members of the family and their neighbors. Many families like Lewiston’s Jalbert family (above photo) made sure their kids each learned to play an instrument in order to entertain at such gatherings — and so, accordingly, we invite local musicians to provide live music for our guests.

To learn more about upcoming performances and menus, check the Event Calendar.



Upcoming Performances

  • Oct

    Comedy Showcase

    Heritage Hall

    Oct 28 - Oct 28

    7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

    Join Lewiston comedian Dawn Hartill as she hosts the Center’s Fall Comedy Showcase with a night of stand-up comedy featuring Tuck Tucker, Connor McGrath,  R.A. Sweeney and Will Green.

    Portland comedian, Connor McGrath, is a truly unique voice in the Portland scene, winning over audiences with tales of lost love and fragrant banks.

    Tuck Tucker is one of the funniest Comics to come out of New England in the last decade. Combine his verbal wit and physical comedy and you have a recipe for falling off your chair funny.

    Will Green is a founding member of The Portland Comedy Co-op and is recently back from a tour through Michigan, Wisconsin and Illinois.

    R.A. Sweeney is relatively new to the comedy scene, getting his start in Portland earlier this year. He’s a storyteller and a regular performer at comedy venues throughout Southern Maine.

    $5 at the door.

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  • Nov

    Justin Lindsay and Bunk

    Heritage Hall

    Nov 4 - Nov 4

    8:30 pm - 11:00 pm

    justin-lindsay-2016Justin Lindsay & Bunk plays a blend of roots, Americana, blues, swing, and funk.  Led by the energetic and charismatic Thom and Justin.  Sure to please.

    Justin Lindsay is a 16 year old Junior at Scarborough High School. He’s been in the blues scene since he was 11 performing multiple times at the Maine Blues Festival

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  • Nov

    Battle of the Blends

    Performance Hall

    Nov 5 - Nov 5

    7:30 pm - 9:28 pm

    bblends-17The Battle of the Blends is always a sell-out event. Our audiences have come to love this extraordinary gathering of a cappella talent. Groups from around New England gather to present a variety of a cappella music

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  • Nov

    Loin des Hommes – A French Film with Subtitles

    Heritage Hall

    Nov 6 - Nov 6

    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    menAlgeria, 1954. Two very different men thrown together by a world in turmoil are forced to flee across the Atlas mountains. Daru, the reclusive teacher, has to escort Mohamed, a villager accused of murder.

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  • Nov

    Piano Concert with Igor Lovchinsky

    Performance Hall

    Nov 11 - Nov 11

    7:00 pm - 9:00 pm


    One of the most dynamic and popular pianists ever to play in our hall, Igor Lovchinsky takes time away from his other passion, graduate study in physics at Harvard, to return with a program sure to please.  During the opening concert

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