In the News

I spent the summer and fall of 2008 in Ottawa, but the most memorable parts of my stay took place on the other side of the river. To improve my French, I joined a rugby team in Gatineau and learned that many of my new teammates were in similar situations. Some were anglophones from across the […]

Français
In the News
Music

Franco-Ontarienne née à Sudbury et ayant grandi à Toronto, je n’ai pris connaissance de la St-Jean qu’une fois jeune adulte. Faut dire que mes parents n’étaient pas très fêtards… Mais une fois partie, j’ai appris à associer la célébration aux bons temps qui roulent. Mon éveil culturel a commencé vers l’âge de 15 ans. J’ai découvert Harmonium, […]

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Snow palace (1988) at the Québec Winter Carnival (courtesy Carnaval de Québec Inc).

Québec City became my “home” after I left my parents’ house, and even though I don’t live there anymore, I still consider it as such. This French-speaking city of just over half a million people feels like a big village bustling with activity. Among all the events that take place there, one of the most important is no doubt the Québec Winter Carnival. Since 1894, this winter celebration warms and cheers Quebecers during the peak of the cold (and sometimes grey) season. I only recently became aware that the carnival originated from an ancient tradition carried out by the people of New France, who feasted from late January to mid-February (this is when the carnival is held), before the beginning of Lent – you’ve got to have joy in stock for hard times!
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Film
In the News
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Once again a Québécois film has been nominated for a best foreign-language Oscar. In 2011, it was Denis Villenuve’s Incendies and in 2012 it was Philippe Falardeau’s Monsieur Lazhar. This year, the honour goes to Kim Nguyen’s Rebelle (War Witch is the English title).

In War Witch, a 12-year-old girl named Komona (Rachel Mwanza) is kidnapped by rebels in an un-named African country and forced to become a child soldier. But she soon discovers that she has magical powers – she can see ghosts in the jungle and knows when government forces lie in wait. War Witch covers two years of Komona’s life told in flashback and voiceover, an odyssey that veers into slaughter, witchcraft and magical realism. It’s a harrowing story told with a great deal of humanity and strikingly authentic performances, especially by Mwanza, an untrained street kid who was found on location in Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to the film’s Oscar nod, Mwanza won the Silver Bear for best actress at the Berlin International Film Festival and best actress at the Tribeca Film Festival. War Witch received 12 newly minted Canadian Screen Awards nominations (formerly the Genies), including best picture, best director, best screenplay and best actress for Mwanza.

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History
In the News
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Drapeau-Carillon-Sacré-Coeur

Drapeau Carillon Sacré-Coeur: A Carillon flag waved by people on Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day from its creation in 1902 until 1948. The current Flag of Quebec is based on this design, and was adopted in 1948. (Creative Commons)

Every year, French Canadians celebrate their cultural pride and heritage through parades and parties on June 24 marking, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. These festivities combine the ancient rites of the summer solstice with traditional celebrations in honour of the Patron Saint of French Canadians, Saint John the Baptist. How did Saint John come to be the patron saint of French Canada? The Canadian Encyclopedia offers some clues:

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Au Fil Des Mots
Français

journee francophone
On March 20, the International Day of La Francophonie wishes to highlight the vitality of the French language, not only in francophone countries, but wherever we find ardent admiration for the French language and culture. To this end, the official celebrations will take place in London, the host city for the next Olympic Games. Trafalgar Square will be decked out in its very best French attire and vibrate with the sounds of French music from around the world.

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Au Fil Des Mots
Français
journee francophone

journee francophone

Le 20 mars, Journée internationale de la Francophonie veut mettre en valeur la vitalité de la langue française dans les pays francophones, certes, mais partout ailleurs où se retrouve un amour inconditionnel de la langue et de la culture françaises.

Pour ce faire, la célébration officielle se tiendra à Londres, ville hôte des prochains Jeux olympiques. Trafalgar Square sera parée de ses plus beaux atours français et vibrera au son de la musique française de partout dans le monde.

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Français
le-bonhomme

Le « Bonhomme » carnaval, mascotte du Carnaval d'hiver de Québec (avec la permission du Carnaval de Québec Inc).

Bien que je n’y habite plus, la Ville de Québec est devenue mon « chez -moi » lorsque j’ai quitté le nid familial, et je la considère toujours comme tel. De cette ville francophone qui compte un peu plus d’un demi-million d’habitants se dégage une atmosphère de gros village grouillant d’activités. Parmi les nombreux événements qui prennent place à Québec, l’un des plus importants est sans équivoque le Carnaval de Québec. Depuis 1894, cette célébration hivernale réchauffe le cœur des Québécois et ramène la bonne humeur alors que la saison froide (et parfois grise) bat son plein. Je l’ignorais jusqu’à récemment, mais le carnaval est, semble-t-il, dérivé d’une ancienne tradition selon laquelle les habitants de la Nouvelle-France, avant l’arrivée du Carême, festoyaient de la fin janvier à la mi-février, période pendant laquelle se tient le carnaval. Il faut bien faire des réserves de joie pour les temps durs!

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Au Fil Des Mots
Français
La crise du verglas, 1998

Note de l’éditeur: Du 4 janvier au 10 janvier 1998, l’est de l’Ontario et une partie du Québec subirent successivement 3 tempêtes de pluie verglaçante, situation extrême qui devint le plus grand désastre naturel jamais enregistré au Canada. L’éditeur francophone, Myriam Fontaine se rappelle ces jours pénibles.

Les craquements. De partout, jour et nuit les craquements. Je les entends encore. Des branches qui craquent et tombent, les pylônes pas très loin de chez moi qui s’effondrent, le toit et les murs de ma maison qui craquent sous le froid, ma chaise berçante, mon feu de foyer. Toujours le silence, et les craquements. Pas de ronron familier du réfrigérateur, des conduits d’eau ou de la fournaise. Pas de rires de mes enfants. Pas de travail, pas d’ordi. Je suis seule dans ma maison froide.

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History
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Editor’s Note: From January 4 -10, 1998, parts of Eastern Ontario and Western Quebec were hit by 3 successive storm fronts that have been called the greatest natural disaster in Canadian history. French editor Myriam Fontaine remembers the harrowing experience.

Crackling. Crackling everywhere, day and night. I can still hear it. Branches that crackle and fall, pylons not far from my home collapsing, the roof and walls of my house crackling from the cold, my rocking chair, my fireplace. Always the silence and the crackling. No familiar humming of the refrigerator, the water pipes, or the furnace. No children’s laughter. No work, no computer. I am alone in my cold house.

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