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

    Maine International Conference On The Arts

    Performance Hall

    Oct 6 - Oct 6

    5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

    2016 - maine Arts CommisionWelcome to the 2016 Maine International Conference on the Arts (MICA) in Lewiston-Auburn, Maine, at the Franco Cultural Center and the Bates Mill. Where the rivers of Creativity, Industry, Art, and Innovation powerfully converge.

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  • Oct

    Franco Center Gala – Songs of the Silver Screen

    Performance Hall

    Oct 15 - Oct 15

    6:00 pm - 10:00 pm

    Join us for our annual Gala and Concert.  Arrive at 6 p.m. to feast on a selection of dishes from 12 of L/A’s favorite restaurants and enjoy drinks at the bar in Heritage Hall.  After the opening festivities, join other guests in the Performance Hall for “Songs for the Silver Screen”,

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  • Oct

    Jeanne et Osithee – A One-Act Play

    Heritage Hall

    Oct 21 - Oct 21

    4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

    coverJeanne et Osithée: Parallèles Croisées
    by Jean-Claude Redonnet & Grégoire Chabot

    According to geometry, parallels never cross.  But in life, things may be different as will be seen when Jeanne, a woman from the French Pyrenees, and Osithee, a Franco-American from northern Maine, meet for a memorable encounter and dialogue between two francophone mothers, wifes of different cultures on both sides of the Atlantic.

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  • Oct

    Midcoast Symphony Orchestra

    Performance Hall

    Oct 22 - Oct 22

    3:22 pm - 3:22 pm
    Piano soloist, Jonathan Bass

    Piano soloist, Jonathan Bass

    For the first concert in their series, the Midcoast Symphony, under the direction of Rohan Smith, will present Franz von Suppé’s  “Light Cavalry Overture”;  Rachmaninoff’s  “Piano Concerto No. 2 in C Minor, Op. 18″ featuring Jonathan Bass, piano soloist;  and Brahms: Symphony No. 1 in C Minor, Op. 68

    For tickets, go to Midcoast Symphony

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  • Oct


    Performance Hall

    Oct 23 - Oct 23

    2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

    Fiddle-icious Nov 2014 LR

    Join Fiddle-icious, a non-profit, all volunteer community orchestra with members from Kittery to Augusta, as they take to the stage to share their uplifting music. Fiddle-icious is a large and vibrant group of Maine musicians playing fiddle, piano, harp, guitar, banjo,         accordion, cello, tin whistle, concertina and upright bass. Their tunes are passed on from the Irish, Scottish,

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