Official Languages in Education Programs

Learn how the Government of Canada, through OLEP, contributes funding to early childhood to Grade 12 French education in Alberta.

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How Alberta gets federal OLEP funding

The federal government funds official languages in education in 2 ways.

The first way is through regular annual funding negotiated by provincial and federal governments. These negotiations create the following agreements that set funding details:

The second way the federal government gives money to provinces for official language education is through a separate application process to fund specific projects or goals.

Regular annual funding

Step 1. Federal, provincial, and territorial governments negotiate a single base agreement, called a protocol

The Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction sets out how the governments work together and shows how the federal government gives money to all provinces and territories.

Governments renegotiate the protocol every 4 or 5 years to reflect changing priorities.

It takes an average of 2 years to negotiate each new protocol.

Step 2. The federal government negotiates with each province and territory individually to create unique agreements

The Alberta government and the federal government are currently negotiating the Canada-Alberta Agreement for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction to:

  • expand on important objectives in the Protocol for Agreements for Minority-Language Education and Second-Language Instruction
  • identify strategies and initiatives specific to Alberta
  • create a detailed action plan to show how Alberta will distribute federal funding

It takes an average of 6 to 12 months to negotiate these agreements.

Step 3. Provinces and territories get federal funding

Each province and territory gets federal funding to give to funding recipients according to its action plan. The federal government usually gives this funding in 2 parts each year.

Step 4. Funding recipients report back to government

The Alberta government collects reports during the protocol term from each funding recipient, creates a combined report, and submits it to the federal government.

We repeat this process at the end of the protocol term to create a more detailed report showing how funding helped recipients achieve their goals.

Additional funding

In addition to regular annual funding, provinces can apply for additional federal funding each year for specific projects or goals.

Application category Federal decision Annual call for proposals (estimated dates)
Capital projects for minority-language education 2018 – 2019:

2019 – 2020:

  • Upgrading Campus Saint-Jean to foster transdisciplinarity, inclusion and innovation (Campus Saint-Jean, University of Alberta)
Francophone and French-language teacher recruitment and retention projects 2019 – 2020: Late spring
Complementary projects 2018 – 2019: 2019 – 2020: Early winter

Step 1. Call for proposals

The federal government issues an annual call for proposals for each of the above funding categories.

Step 2. Application

The Alberta government collaborates with community partners to create and submit a federal application. Community partners may include:

  • school authorities
  • post-secondary institutions
  • educational associations

Step 3. Negotiation

After submitting the application, Alberta works with the federal government to answer its questions and clarify parts of the application as needed.

Step 4. Federal government decision

The federal government decides which projects to approve and informs the Alberta government.

The Alberta government communicates the federal government’s decision to stakeholders and helps set up next steps for each approved project.

Step 5. Reporting

Alberta works closely with funding recipients to create a report for the federal government. This report shows how funding recipients spend the money and if the project meets pre-identified success goals.

Learn more about these and other targeted federal funding options in the Government of Canada’s Action Plan for Official Languages - 2018-23: Investing in Our Future.

How Alberta distributes federal OLEP funding


2019-2020 funding

2020-2021 funding

OLEP reporting forms

Programs and bursaries

The Language Teacher Bursary Program helps eligible French and international language teachers get provincial funding to complete a language, culture or teaching development course or program. The federal government does not fund this bursary.

Legislation and policies

The following legislation, policies and resources guide the delivery of French first-language (francophone) education and French second-language instruction (includes French as a Second Language courses and French immersion programs) in Alberta:

Learn more about French language education in Alberta.


Connect with the Alberta Official Languages in Education Programs (OLEP) office:

Hours: 8:15 am to 4:30 pm (open Monday to Friday, closed statutory holidays)
Phone: 780-427-2940
Toll free: 310-0000 before the phone number (in Alberta)