Archivist Sarah Glassford, professor Emmanuelle Richez, and librarian Katharine Ball Archivist Sarah Glassford, professor Emmanuelle Richez, and librarian Katharine Ball pose with some of the materials from the local French-language newspaper Le Rempart donated to the University.

Historic francophone newspaper to be archived and digitized at Leddy Library

The Leddy Library at the University of Windsor has received a donation of nearly 40 years of the local French-language newspaper Le Rempart, marking a significant step towards preserving and making accessible the cultural and historical records of Southwestern Ontario’s francophone community.

As far back as 2016, publisher and proprietor Denis Poirier began searching for a permanent home for the newspaper’s archive of back issues. He had already taken them home with him rather than see them end up in a dumpster, when Le Rempart had to move from the Place Concorde community centre to much smaller premises on Walker Road. Although this step preserved the newspapers, it was not a long-term solution to the question of access.

In 2024, the plight of Le Rempart’s back issues came to the attention of Leddy Library after an inquiry by Denise Leboeuf, a songwriter with roots in Essex County. While working on a project highlighting important moments in the history of the francophone community, she had found valuable online resources at the Leddy Library, including digitized copies of other francophone newspapers. She hoped to gain access to Le Rempart, a crucial source of insight into the local francophone community for the mid-to-late-20th century.

“Newspapers are enormously valuable as primary sources because they offer unique windows into the communities they serve,” says Leddy Library archivist Sarah Glassford. “No other single primary source offers such a wide range of insights into a community. The duration of Le Rempart’s publication makes it especially valuable, as it tracks the unfolding history of the community it serves during decades of major social and cultural change.”

A true community partnership emerged from Leboeuf’s inquiry: the Francophone Genealogical Archives in Windsor put her in touch with Glassford, Leddy librarian Katharine Ball, and University of Windsor francophone professors Emmanuelle Richez of political science and Guillaume Teasdale of history. The group in turn reached out to Poirier, unaware that he was already seeking a repository for the newspaper’s history.

“I wanted to find a secure, permanent home for the Le Rempart archive that would allow the whole community to access it,” said Poirier. “The possibility of digitizing it was a nice bonus.”

Discussions between Poirier and Leddy Library resulted in a two-pronged agreement: first, to allow Leddy Library to digitize Le Rempart’s back issues from 1966 to 2003 and make them freely accessible online; second, to donate the hard copies to the library’s Archives & Special Collections for long-term physical preservation and access. The newspapers were brought to the University in December 2023.

“This is monumental for the French-Canadian community of Windsor-Essex County,” says Dr. Richez. “With more than 13,000 francophones living in the area and 38,000 residents who understand French, this will offer great insight into our local and cultural history.”

The process of digitization and cataloguing — which may take up to a year to complete — is now underway, spearheaded by Ball, who co-ordinates the Southwestern Ontario Digital Archive (SWODA). The resulting collection will be made available online through SWODA and the Internet Archive, ensuring that the rich history chronicled in Le Rempart is readily available to researchers and the general public alike.

“This initiative represents a successful collaboration of many partners — the library, teaching faculty, community members, and local media — in a shared effort to preserve the voices and experiences of a linguistic minority with deep roots in Windsor-Essex, for the benefit of future generations,” says Richez.

“The Leddy Library’s commitment to preserving local history and making it accessible is playing a crucial role in fostering our understanding of the marginalized yet vibrant francophone community in Southwestern Ontario.”

Explore Le Rempart online:

Explore other online local newspapers and resources at SWODA: and INK:

Julia DeansJulia Deans, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada, will discuss building community with UWindsor chancellor Mary Jo Haddad on March 21.

Building community subject of leadership dialogue

UWindsor chancellor Mary Jo Haddad will engage Julia Deans, president and CEO of Habitat for Humanity Canada, in conversation on building community as the next entry in the Chancellor’s Leadership Series on Thursday, March 21.

Since 2020, Deans has led the charity, which focuses on smoothing the path to homeownership for people living with low income. She practised law in Toronto and Hong Kong and built a business in Singapore before becoming CEO of CivicAction, Futurpreneur Canada, and the Canada Children’s Literacy Foundation. Deans chaired Ontario’s Expert Roundtable on Immigration, which developed the province’s first strategy on how immigration could boost its economy. Find a more detailed biography on the series website.

The March 21 event will take place in the Hatch Studio Theatre, Jackman Dramatic Art Centre, from 11 a.m. to noon and is open to the campus community. Register to attend on the Chancellor’s website.
gathering in lobby of school of social workMeet a practising social worker to discuss the profession on March 7.

Meet a social worker speed-dating style

March is National Social Work month, and this first week is Social Work Week in Ontario.

To celebrate and offer social work students — and others considering the profession — an opportunity to connect with local professionals, the Local Engagement Network of the Ontario Association of Social Workers is hosting a “Meet a Social Worker” night in Windsor Hall on Thursday, March 7.

Attendees will meet social workers employed in various fields and practices in a “speed dating” structured event with the opportunity to ask questions of each of the professionals about their careers and different avenues of social work practice.

“The event structure allows social work students or students considering social work as a potential career to ask social work professionals about their careers and different avenues of social work practice,” says professor Riham Al-Saadi.

The event takes place Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. in the School of Social Work located at 167 Ferry St. Admission is free but requires registration in advance. Space is limited; contact Dr. Al-Saadi at for assistance.

Lancers Care Mental Health & Well-Being CalendarThe Lancers Care Mental Health & Well-Being Calendar will begin this week and run through the end of April

Calendar to share mental health events

A calendar of events promoting mental health and well-being will reflect activities planned and implemented by a working group of nearly 40 faculty, staff, student groups, and community partners.

The Lancers Care Mental Health & Well-Being Calendar will begin this week and run through the end of April, says Katie Chauvin, mental health and wellness co-ordinator in Student Health, Counselling & Wellness Services.

“We believe that mental health awareness and engagement initiatives require a year-round approach,” she says. “After seeing the success of Lancers Care Week and the eagerness of campus and community partners to contribute activities, we wanted to expand the initiative to provide greater opportunities for involvement and reach.”

The calendar offers an opportunity for members of the campus community to come together to talk about mental health and well-being, explore skills for coping and supporting each other, meet service providers, ask questions, and take time to prioritize well-being. Offerings include workshops, mental health training, events, and booths.

Learn more and register to attend events.

students in circle on lawnApplications are open through March 31 for support from the Deans’ Council Fund for activities enriching the student experience.

Funding available to enrich student experience

Applications are open through March 31 for financial assistance from the Deans’ Council Fund for on-campus events, activities, and special initiatives enriching the student experience.

The fund supports proposals up to $1,500 toward activities and initiatives that align with the values, foundational commitments, strategic priorities, or strategic opportunities as outlined in the University of Windsor’s strategic plan.

All applications go through a competitive assessment process designed to ensure equity, openness, and transparency for on-campus groups seeking financial assistance. There are three deadlines per year: March 31, July 31, and Nov. 30.

Find guidelines, criteria, and the online application on the fund website.

presenter at podiumThe Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant is returning as industry project partner for Continuing Education’s Applied Leadership Program.

Stellantis returns as industry partner in leadership program open to all

Continuing Education welcomes the return of Stellantis as industry project partner for the Applied Leadership Program, says executive director Jennie Atkins.

“Last year, they offered a distinct learning opportunity to our diverse learners from various educational and professional backgrounds,” she says.

The eight-week course is designed for current and aspiring leaders looking for opportunities to make professional connections, hone leadership and soft skills through teamwork, and develop communication strategies and leadership plans in support of an organizational strategy.

Classes will be held on Thursdays starting April 18 from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at Windsor Hall.

In extending this partnership, Continuing Education aims to sustain the momentum of delivering impactful learning experiences to learners in the community, says Atkins.

Key members of the Windsor Assembly Plant will provide a case scenario to participants, along with feedback on learners’ capstone presentations at the end of the program.

“We look forward to participating again in Continuing Education’s integral program,” says Jamie Marshall, master plan manager at Stellantis Windsor Assembly Plant. “Last spring’s capstone presentations left a lasting impression on our team, and we are excited about contributing to the development of a new cohort of current and future leaders, right in our community.”

UWindsor alumna Shanna Komsa completed the Applied Leadership Program and says it provided communication and self-assessment tools: “the program allowed me to see where my strengths are, as well as where there are opportunities for growth.”

The course is open for registration. Organizations are encouraged to send individuals requiring leadership training or identified as potential leaders.

Participants will receive a certificate on completion of the course.

UWindsor alumni, staff, students, and Hire UWindsor partners are eligible for discounts. Email to inquire. More information about the Applied Leadership Program can be found on the Continuing Education website.

Report details accomplishments of health institute

WE-Spark Health Institute highlights key accomplishments from November 2023 to January 2024 in its Year 5, third quarter report:

  • continued to grow the WindsorEssex research ecosystem with a total of 1,153 members;
  • increased the number of active users of its RedCap data sharing platform to 311, facilitating 170 research projects, with 24.6K records/participants, and 22 funded projects representing $4.7 million in funding;
  • hosted four events and workshops, including its annual Health Research Conference which attracted over 300 participants, more than 100 posters and conferred 18 student awards;
  • continued to share member successes in its bi-monthly newsletter;
  • prepared for the Feb. 26 launch of the 2024 WE-Spark Igniting Discovery Grants program.

Read the full report here.

WE-Spark quarterly reports communicate outcomes and provide accountability to its members and the Windsor-Essex community. All reports can be found on the institute’s website.

WE-Spark Health Institute is supported by an innovative partnership between the University of Windsor and Erie Shores HealthCare, Hôtel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, St. Clair College, and Windsor Regional Hospital that brings together health research strengths, expertise, and infrastructure from across the Windsor-Essex region.