807 rue Baker, Nelson, C.-B., V1L 4J8

Kootenay Association of the Kootenay West

The Association des francophones des Kootenays Ouest (or AFKO, translated as the Francophone Association of West Kootenays) promotes French language and its cultures throughout the region. The Association gathers and represents francophones and francophiles from all regions of the West Kootenays through socio-cultural, educational and community activities.

The AFKO is a non-profit membership organisation which offers a variety of French language services, including a library, weekly radio shows, quarterly newsletters, summer day camps, a directory of French language services, French classes, assisted public access to computers and Wi-Fi, and an access to a printer/scanner/photocopier.

Our services

Our library is located in the AFKO community center in Nelson at 807 Baker St. Come visit us to consult over 4000 books, magazines, CDs and DVDs in French! We have a specific section with plenty of kids books, to help your children in learning or practising French. Only members can check out documents. Become a member today here!

You can search for documents in our library here.

The AFKO is happy to provide at its community center a free public access to Wi-Fi, computers and a scanner, and access to a printer and a photocopier for a low cost.

The AFKO community center is happy to sell Kootenay Kombucha beverages on tap for the low prices of $2 for 250mL, $4 for 500mL and $6.50 for 1L. Don’t forget to bring your reusable containers!

You are organising an event and you need more plates, mugs and cutlery than you have at home? The environment is important for you and you refuse to buy single-use products? You can borrow the AFKO’s for a small cost! Contact us at 250-352-3516 or coordination.afko@gmail.com. 

Our community center is available for rental during evenings and weekends for private events. For more information, contact us at 250-352-3516 or coordination.afko@gmail.com.

You want to improve your French?
To register or for more information, call us at 250-352-3516 or send us an e-mail at coordination.afko@gmail.com.

Every Friday morning starting at 10am, the AFKO opens its community center to families. Come relax, have a coffee and meet with other parents!

With La Virée, the AFKO aims to bring socio-cultural activities in the major towns composing the West Kootenays. Those inclusive activities intend to reunite and strengthen the social network of francophones and francophiles in those regions

  • Castlegar Library
  •  Kaslo Library
  •  Nakusp Library
  •  Rossland Library
  •  Slocan Library
  • Grand-Forks Library
  • Coin Laundry, New Denver
  • Garden Graces, New Denver
  • Franc-Départ, Nelson
  • Crawford-Bay Grocery Store
  • Little Free Library outside the AFKO community center

In July and August, the AFKO community center hosts a day camp for children from 6 to 10 years old. Every year, the program is filled with fun, dynamic and diverse activities, all in French! The camp is a great opportunity for children to keep practising their French while school is out for the summer. We also often offer special themes, such as robotised Legos and green crafts! More information and registrations are usually available around June.

The Kootenays Club 50+ is a group of francophones and francophiles located in the Slocan Valley. 

To counter social isolation and to foster friendly exchanges, the club creates opportunities for gathering through activities adapted for 50 years old people and more. Meetings are organised twice a month and are moments always filled with engagement, pride and laughter!

For more information, contact the AFKO at:
250-352-3516 or coordination.afko@gmail.com
Facebook: Club 50+ Kootenays 

Méli Mélo is your French community radio show in the West Kootenays! Produced at the Kootenay Co-op Radio for over 15 years, enjoy francophone music from everywhere around the world. Tune in on Fridays at 10am and on Sundays at 10am for a repeat.

93.5 FM in Nelson, 96.5 FM in Crawford Bay, 101.5 FM in Castlegar, and 107 FM in New Denver.

Méli Mélo is also broadcasted by the francophone Victoria community radio CILS-FM (107.9). You can listen to the show live or as a podcast here. For any comments or suggestions, or if you would like to co-host for one show, please contact us at 250-352-3516 or coordination.afko@gmail.com.

Our publications

All year long, the AFKO publishes monthly in the Nelson Star and the Rossland News a full page in French. You can read them online here for the Nelson Star and here for the Rossland News. 

If you would like to share an article idea for the Voilà page or if you have any comments, please contact us at 250-352-3516 or coordination.afko@gmail.com.

The AFKO publishes a news bulletin four times a year at the start of each season: “La Voix des Kootenays” (“The Voice of the Kootenays”). You can obtain a copy by visiting our community center in Nelson. You can also access it on our website under “Publications”.

Our events

Monthly events

Every third Wednesday of the month from 5pm to 7pm is French Wednesday at Uptown Sports Bar, Nelson. French speakers and enthusiasts gather to eat tasty food and chat. Deals on poutine and some beers on tap. Kids are welcome! See you there!

Every first Thursday of  July and August, the AFKO organises a potluck at Lakeside Park at the Rotary shelter. This is the perfect occasion to hang out with friends or to meet new francophones and francophiles! Bring a side to share (salad, dip, small bites) and something to grill on the barbecue. We bring our giant Jenga game and our volley-ball!

Annual events

In January every year, the AFKO is at the Whitewater Ski Resort for the Winter Carnival. Come see us to eat delicious maple toffy on the snow! Traditional and festive atmosphere to warm you up!

C’est un rendez-vous tous les débuts de janvier au centre de ski Whitewater pour profiter de la tire sur la neige! Ambiance folklorique, beaucoup de plaisir!

The sugar shack takes place yearly in April at the Salmo Ski Hill. More than 150 people share a traditional meal of ham, beans, eggs, crepes and more, followed with the highly anticipated maple toffy on snow! Games, traditional music and a draw make of this festive event a must.

Every year around the 24th of June, date of Québec’s national holiday the St-Jean-Baptiste, La FrancoFête celebrates French language and its cultures. Through socio-cultural, artistic and interactive activities, the AFKO aims to promote all French cultures and give people an occasion to celebrate them. With games, workshops and concerts by local artists, we wish to gather French speaking people, French enthusiasts and anyone who wants to learn more about French culture! This event is free and open for everyone of all ages and all cultures!

Every September, during Nelson’s Culture Days, the AFKO offers new cultural activities such as concerts, workshops and exhibitions to showcase local artists and artisans. Everyone is welcome!

In early December, the AFKO celebrates the winter holidays with a community event at Taghum Hall. After a traditional meal of turkey, meat pie and all the trimmings, enjoy live trad music, games and a draw!

Become a member!

By becoming a member of AFKO, you help promote French language and its cultures in the West Kootenays. You are also joining a vibrant, creative and well-established community. To become a member, you can visit our community center at 807 Baker St, Nelson, or write us at coordination.afko@gmail.com.


Thank you for your support!


The perks of becoming a member:


Reduced cost of entry for events

Right to vote at the annual general assembly

Reception of the quarterly bulletin and the monthly newsletter

Access to our tap Kombucha service

Rental of 10 books, 5 CDs and 3 DVDs at the same time from our library

Automatic membership to the AFRACB for the 50+

Our rates

  • Indivual rate - $20/year
  • Family rate - $30/year
  • School/nonprofit - $40/year
  • Business - $50/year

Environmental Policy

Objective of the policy: The AFKO established an environmental policy with the intention of seeing the quantity and the quality of its environmental actions augment and become more diversified. This policy follows the ecological portrait and action plan established in February 2018, with the purpose of pushing even further our environmental efforts. 

The AFKO commits to: 

  • make responsible purchases by choosing durable, local, reusable products with as least packaging as possible;
  • use homemade ecological cleaning products for frequent cleaning tasks;
  • carry out sound management of residual materials;
  • aim to reduce packaging and plastic when forced to order goods; 
  • continue to reduce the consumption of single use products such as plates and cutlery during shared meals and other big events, and aim to reuse as much as possible already purchased material;
  • encourage and maintain the participation, formation and engagement of its employees to assure the full respect of the environmental policy;
  • reduce the carbon footprint of transports, for example by prioritising carpooling;
  • encourage and support the members’ initiatives concerning the environment, when those are aligned with the AFKO’s mandate;
  • aim for the continuous improvement of environmental efforts in the coming years; 
  • develop a follow up process with quantitative indicators to reassess yearly.