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Why Franco-Ontarians are not better recognized in a pan-Canadian sense, or internationally – Part 1 of 2 (#222)

Let’s continue this mini blog-post series on Francophone Ontario.  I recognize that the next couple of posts will be controversial.  If you agree with what I’m about to say, then wonderful.  If you do not, then just take what I am about to say with a grain of salt.  Regardless, I hope you find them insightful and through provoking.

The first post in this mini blog-post series put forth a number of statistics concerning Francophone Ontario (see “Les Ontarois”: More than double Acadia’s population, yet they rarely get outside attention”).   I also discussed that Francophone Ontario is often greatly overlooked by other Anglophones and Francophones – both within and outside of Canada.  In many ways, Francophone Ontario unjustly gets the short end of the stick in terms of national or international recognition.

I highlighted the fact that Acadian culture and language often garners much more attention than Francophone Ontario…

  • despite that Acadia’s population being less than half that of Francophone Ontario’s,
  • despite that the rate of growth of French as the spoken home language in Ontario (9.5% growth from 2006 to 2011) far outpaces that of Acadia’s (and even Québec’s), and
  • despite the fact that Ontario’s drive towards bilingualism has reached the point that almost 1,500,000 residents in Ontario are now able to hold a conversation in French (the above numbers all come from Statistics Canada, 2011).

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Based on the statistics, Francophone Ontario is seemingly leaving Acadia behind to eat its dust (strong words – and I do not mean to “slight” Acadia in any way.   But on the surface, the statistics seem to indicate that Ontario’s weight in this respect far outpaces Acadia’s on many fronts).

So why then does Francophone Ontario (and why do Franco-Ontarians) not receive more attention and recognition outside Ontario – or at least as much attention as Acadia?

This is the magic question.  It is also a very controversial question.   I believe it all comes down to nuances.  I’ll let you know some of my thoughts on the various reasons:

1.  Institutional Dilution

Although Ontario has institutions throughout the province which provide medical, long-term healthcare, post-secondary education, banking, commercial, transportation, and other services in French, there is a lack of institutions which provide services solely in French (there is no “Francophone” university in Ontario like there is in Alberta, New Brunswick, Manitoba or New Brunswick – something which absolutely boggles my mind considering the size of Ontario’s Francophone population).   Francophone institutions tend to stand out and get more attention in people’s minds than “bilingual” institutions.   Example:  Everyone knows Université St-Boniface in Winnipeg or the Université de Moncton.   They’re strong and loud symbols of a province’s Francophone nature.

Even though Franco-Ontarians can attend university in French at institutions such as Guelph University, the University of Ottawa, York University, Laurentian University, University of Sudbury, and others, these universities are first and foremost “thought of” as Anglophone universities – and most non-Francophones are not even aware of their bilingual nature.  (L’Université de Hearst is the sole university in Ontario which operates completely in French – but it is small, remote, and most people have not even heard of it).

Unilingual minority-language operated institutions can vastly bolster a minority’s presence, vitality and notoriety.  McGill and Concordia Universities in Québec are perfect examples.  They operate in English in a minority language setting in Montréal – and everyone knows of Montréal’s and Québec’s Anglophone community (which is even smaller than Ontario’s Francophone community!).

Regarding health care services, there is one French-first-language hospital in Ontario, Hôpital Montfort in Ottawa, but considering that Ontario’s Francophone population is greater than Regina’s, Saskatoon’s and Moncton’s total Anglophone and Francophone populations combined, you would think there would be more than just one Francophone hospital in Ontario.  More hospitals certainly would add more visibility.

2.  Population Parcelling

Ontario’s Francophones are spread throughout a vast land.  Ontario is huge.  If you were to enter Ontario at its Westernmost point on the Trans-Canada, it would take 25 hours of straight driving (two to three days at 8 to 12 hours every day) to reach the province’s Easternmost point (where the Ontario 417 or 401 expressways enters Québec).

Unlike Acadia’s Francophones, or Québec’s Anglophones, Ontario’s Francophones are not (for the most part) concentrated in one single area.   Because of this (with the exceptions of Eastern Ontario and the Highway 11 corridor), you would not necessarily hear French every day when walking down the street in Ontario.  This leads to an inaccurate perception of “invisibility”.  Toronto may have tens and tens of thousands of Francophones, but their presence is diluted by the sheer size of Toronto’s Anglophone population (in terms of numbers, Toronto has the second or third largest Francophone population in Canada outside Québec, but at first glance you would not necessarily notice it owing to the dilution of the Francophone population by the size of its Anglophone population).

3.  Geographic Remoteness

The most Francophone communities in Ontario tend to be quite remote, in the sense that they are very far from Ontario’s most populous regions.  This has given rise to a phenomenon of a “parcelling” of Ontario’s Francophone population, of its accent zones, and its various lifestyles (city versus rural, North versus South, East versus West — all with huge distances in between).

Hence, Francophone Ontario becomes a case of “out of sight, out of mind”.   Example:  Even though the towns all along the “Highway 11 Francophone Corridor” have populations which are 85% to 95% Francophone (even more “Francophone” than many parts of Québec), it is nonetheless a region which is a 12 hour drive from Toronto.  Many people I met in Toronto have never even heard of Ontario’s Highway 11 Francophone Corridor (I was stunned when I moved to Toronto and found out that local Anglophone Ontarians had no idea of how Francophone Ontario’s far north tends to be.  When driving through it, you could easily believe you were driving through Québec).  Most people are ignorant to the fact that anything along a 300 kilometre stretch of highway 11 basically has French as its first operating language.   From Toronto, you could drive to Nashville (Tennessee), St. Louis (Missouri), Charlotte (North Carolina), or Edmundston (New Brunswick) in the same amount of time (or less) than what it would take to drive to the Highway 11 Corridor.   Like I said… “Out of sight, out of mind”.

4.  A lack of a designation of “Official” Bilingualism

Unlike New Brunswick, Ontario has not declared itself “officially bilingual” (it has simply declared various “regions” of the province as officially bilingual).  Because New Brunswick is “officially” bilingual as a whole, it garners a LOT of attention.  There is instant recognition everywhere that there exists a reason why New Brunswick is officially bilingual.

Although Ontario offers “functionally bilingual” services at a provincial and municipal level, and although in practical terms there is not much difference between being “functionally bilingual” and “officially bilingual”, the difference in perceptions can be night and day.

Perceptions are formed from gestures, and actions speak louder than words.  If the gestures are not there (such as declaring the province officially bilingual), then outside recognition of the French fact simply does not follow.  It may not be fair, but that’s how it works.

5.  A lack of certain types of “Highly Visible” popular mainstream television media in Francophone Ontario

Right or wrong, societies are often judged by the strength of their television media.  If a country or society has a strong TV media presence with a very strong home-grown news and entertainment component, such societies tend to garner external recognition as being a strong, healthy, influential society (television is influence, and it serves as a statement in itself).  Imagine if Argentina had no home-grown news networks or no major home-grown popular entertainment television networks, but if Chile did.  The outside world’s perception of Chile versus Argentina would be very different (Argentina probably would likely be afforded very little thought).

Francophone Ontario is sort of facing a similar situation.  There are three major Francophone TV networks operating out of Ontario;   UNIS, TFO and Radio-Canada.  However, despite having sizeable Ontario studios, UNIS and Radio-Canada are not seen as home-grown or Franco-Ontarian, since they operate everywhere in Canada and are viewed as “national” in character.  TFO is considered too much of a specialty channel (an education channel with much of its focus on children’s programming or non-Ontario origin movies / shows).  Thus is tough for Franco-Ontarians to be taken seriously as a strong, vibrant community in the eyes of others when such a community of this size doesn’t even have its own popular television networks which operate along the lines of TVA, LCN, or others.

6.  A lack of a distinguished French “accent” when Franco-Ontarians make the pop-culture jump to Montréwood

When Franco-Ontarians make it big in Montréwood (ie:  Marie-Mai, or Véronique DiCaire), they tend not to get labelled as Franco-Ontarians, and often are incorrectly labelled as Québécois.  (It’s quite similar to a phenomenon which Anglophone Canadians face when they take Hollywood by storm, ie:  how many Americans or people elsewhere in the world know that William Shatner, Justin Bieber, Pamela Anderson, Michael J. Fox, Jason Priestly and many many others are Canadian and not American?)

Because the style of French spoken in Ontario is of the same “branch” as Québécois French (a branch of French which exists from British Columbia, through the prairies, across Ontario, and all throughout Québec), Franco-Ontarian celebrities in Montréwood simply “blend in”.  (Of course there are some exceptions, such as Katherine Levac who kept Her East-Ontario accent when she made the jump to Montréwood).  However Acadian-style French is from a different branch of French and sounds completely different.

Therefore, when Acadians make it big in Montréwood, they tend to stick out like a sore thumb — just as the British do when they take Hollywood by storm, ie: Sean Connery or Adele.

The above offered you six reasons why I believe that Franco-Ontarians are not more visible on a pan-Canadian stage, or international stage.  However, I believe there are five additional reasons — fivereasons which are much more controversial than the above reasons.

The next post will offer you what I believe are these five additional reasons.

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SERIES:  FRANCOPHONE ONTARIO & ONTAROIS (6 POSTS)

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“Les Ontarois”: More than double Acadia’s population, yet they rarely get outside attention (#219)

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Here is a short, but controversial post for you.

There are more than twice the number of Ontarois as there are Acadians (note: Ontarois(e) is the new name which people use more and more to describe Franco-Ontarians).

But strangely enough, outside Ontario, they do not garner nearly the same amount of attention as Acadians.

Yet, Ontarois also

  • have a few distinct accents
  • have a Francophone history just as long as Québec’s and Acadia’s (Samuel de Champlain also founded Ontario, just like Québec.  He lived in Southern Ontario for over one to two years in 1615.  His home was just North of present-day Toronto, in what is now Midland in Cottage Country.  I guess he liked his cottage at the lake too!  Even today, if you drive 90 minutes North of Toronto to the towns of Penetanguishene and Tiny-municipality – where he established the first European settlement in Ontario — you’ll see and hear wall-to-wall French with an Ontarian accent).
  • have many Francophone media super stars (Marie-Mai and Véronique DiCaire among the most recent ones, but there has been a long line of Ontarois celebrities)
  • have given Canada some of its foremost politicians and other personalities (the recent and former Prime Minister, Paul Martin, is Ontarois from Windsor)
  • have a provincial government, hospitals, and grade-school & post-secondary education institutions which operate or serve its population in French
  • live in a province where some areas are over 85% to 90% Francophone (even more Francophone than numerous areas of Québec).
  • have their own extensive media industry
    • Radio-Canada has numerous studios across Ontario,
    • there are more Francophone radio stations in Ontario than anywhere elsewhere outside Québec,
    • there are numerous Francophone newspapers, among which Le Droit is one of the largest daily newpapers in Canada,
    • the Francophone Toronto-based television station TFO is one of (and possibly is) North America’s largest educational TV stations,
    • the national Francophone TV station UNIS is based in Toronto, which broadcasts coast-to-coast-to-coast
  • are growing in overall numbers (with those speaking French at home having grown by 9.5% from 2006 to 2011 according to the 2011 Statistics Canada census, one of Canada’s largest growth-rates of any community!)
  • shares a province with an an Anglophone community, of which large numbers are able to speak both French and English, and thus lends much moral support and understanding for their Francophone communities (I placed the bilingual numbers on the above map).

Heck, when Toronto’s mayor, John Tory, recently won the mayoral election, the first words of his live televised victory speech were in French, not English.

There are more Francophones in Ontario than there are Anglophones in Québec (yet people always talk about the Anglophones in Québec, but hardly ever about the Francophones in Ontario).
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Considering all of the above, I remain completely baffled as to why only Québecois and Acadians get the bulk of the attention when people outside these regions or outside Canada think about, talk of, or write about French in Canada or of Francophone Canada.

It looks like a case of the Two Solitudes on many, many different levels (Francophone-to-Francophone, Region-to-Region, Québec-to-Ontario, Country-to-Country, Anglophone-to-Francophone, and on and on).

I have some (rather complex) pet theories why this may be the case, but I’ll leave them for another post (check in a couple of posts from now… I have a stab at jotting my thoughts on the issue in a separate post).

I can give you an excellent example of what I regularly see.  Yesterday a private foreign company published a post on their blog pertaining to French in Canada (I won’t mention who they are, so as not to single them out).  Frankly speaking, from a historic and language-explanation perspective, it was one of the best “short” descriptions I have ever seen (better than any Wikipedia article).  I was more than impressed.  Yet, even though they said French in Canada has many dialects and is found across the country, they mentioned the most important and main French speaking areas in Canada are Québec and Acadia.

There was just one problem with this article (which was supposed to discuss Canadian French), there was zero mention of Ontario — one of the largest components in Canada’s overall French and Francophone realities.

It’s just not the above article either… In fact this happens over and over again all over the board when people write and talk about French in Canada.  I find this chronic omission of anything Ontarois-related to be endemic and representative of many articles, blog posts, and general media coverage.  Even I was guilty of falling into this trap in my younger years.  Ontario is scarcely ever mentioned, whereas Acadia gets the lions share of the attention – either abroad or elsewhere at home.

Although I consider my own personal background more tied to Franco-AlbertanFrancoPrairien and Pan-Franco-Canadian culture than what I consider it tied to Ontarois (or Franco-Ontarien) culture, the longer I live in Ontario, and the longer I see and hear Ontarois in my everyday life, the more perplexed I become by this question.

On top of it all, I happen to live in one of the least Francophone regions of Toronto, yet I hear French in my neighbourhood more often than you’d think.

This lack of awareness of Francophone Ontario’s existence (versus an extravagantly large amount of attention accorded to a much “smaller” Acadia) is a real head-scratcher.  One would think Ontario would find itself on near-equal footing with Acadia, in terms of attention from elsewhere in Canada or abroad (Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying… Acadia is certainly unique in many important ways, and does deserve every bit of attention it gets… But one would also think that Ontarois culture and Francophone Ontario should be right up there too).

Am I missing something here??  It sure makes you think, doesn’t it?  What are your thoughts?

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Related posts:

"Tant à Découvrir":  The Ontario Government's French Licence Plates issued to the public...  Seen on vehicles across Ontario.  If you keep your eyes open for them, you'll spot them around Toronto, the North and the East.

“Tant à Découvrir”: The Ontario Government’s French Licence Plates issued to the public… Seen on vehicles across Ontario. If you keep your eyes open for them, you’ll spot them around Toronto, and the North & East of Ontario.

“Tant à découvrir”… Funny how the logo plays right into this theme.  Ironic isn’t it?

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SERIES:  FRANCOPHONE ONTARIO & ONTAROIS (6 POSTS)

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Tonight’s 2014 Bye-Bye Celebration (#132)

This will be a quick post…  (Lots to get ready for New Years tonight!  Just drove back 5 hours from Banff and Calgary, things to arrange here in Vegreville, then off to Edmonton in a few hours for New Years, taking buddies to the airport tomorrow morning, then I fly back to Toronto on the 2nd… Phew!   The next post may not be for a couple more days).

It has become a huge tradition in Québec to watch the annual Bye-Bye comedy celebration on Radio-Canada.  It’s a comedy show which people watch in the hour running up to midnight.  When people are celebrating New Years at home with family and friends on New Years Eve, it’s almost a guarantee that the Bye-Bye will be playing on the TV screen (if not taking centre-stage in the room, it will at least in the background).  Everything comes to a full-stop the seconds before midnight for the final countdown as everyone turns their heads to the TV and raises their glasses of bubbly (just as many people in the US watch the apple drop in on TV in New York, or others in Anglophone Canada watch the major fireworks live on various stations).

In 2013, almost 4,000,000 people in Québec (and elsewhere in Canada) watched it (with over 5,300,000 overall viewers, including later re-broadcasts on the web, etc.).   That makes it one of the most watched annual television programs in Canada.

It’s in French, of course.  If you’re a learner of French, the style of speaking might be a little quick, and a little bit “slangy”, with fair doses of Joual.  But even if you’re a beginner learning French, give it a shot… the comedic scenes which you can watch sometimes carry the punch-lines in and of themselves.

There are going to be some major cast changes in this year’s Bye-Bye.  Louis Morissette and Véronique Cloutier will not be part of the cast, but Morissette will nonetheless be a producer of the show (so it’s guaranteed to be funny).

Here are some links to articles with info on tonight’s show:

The last link above has Radio-Canada’s entire New Years Eve line up (I’m providing the Radio-Canada line-up since it’s watched more on New Years Eve than the TVA line-up… plus everyone in Canada, regardless if you live on any of the three coasts, all gets Radio-Canada and the Bye-Bye).   Check out the last link… there are a number of New Years specials you can watch all evening.

  • The Bye-Bye starts tonight at 11:00pm in your own time zone (regardless of which of Canada’s five time zones you live in).
  • There are re-runs on January 1st at 9:00pm on Radio-Canada.  
  • If you’re not in Canada or are not in front of the TV, you can watch the Bye-Bye live online at the official website (Canada’s Ontario/Québec Eastern Standard Time zone, same time as US Eastern Standard Time, ie: New York).

The official Bye-Bye website is:  http://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/bye-bye/2014/

I’m unfortunately not going to be able to catch it tonight (I have four different house parties in Edmonton tonight), but hopefully you’ll have the chance to check it out.   If it’s you’re first Bye-Bye, you’ll be in for something very special and quite unique.   Enjoy it!  It has become a BIG part of Québec’s and Canada’s culture — and thus yours’ too!

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Will see you in 2015!

Louis Morissette (#93)

I had mentioned Louis Morissette earlier, in a post regarding his wife, Véronique Cloutier (a television celebrity).

Morissette has, for the last 15 years, been writing sitcoms, doing stand-up, hosting gala events, appearing in commercials, writing and appearing in the annual New Years Bye-Bye, and basically appears everywhere (talk shows events, magazines, you name it).

But what is very interesting about Louis Morissette is how his career has formed a partnership with that of his wife, Véronique Cloutier’s.

Both Morissette and Cloutier are celebrities in their own right – splashed across the pages of cash register tabloids, and are the talk of the town.  Since their marriage, they’ve become the darling couple of Montréwood.

I was listening to a radio show the other day, and put the Cloutier-Morissette phenomena this way (credit to Denis Gravel & Jerôme Landry for this analogy)… picture this:  What would happen if Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie decided to join forces and form a comedy act, not only for special TV events, but also in a stand-up format and take it on the road?  Imagine the public’s reaction and the popularity of the act.  Now imagine if the act centred around both of them taking shots at each other based on aspects of their marriage.   The public would go wild – they wouldn’t be able to get enough of it – and they would be talked about everywhere.   Now you have an idea of what is happening with Louis Morissette and Véronique Cloutier.   The other week, they did their first show in Québec City, and the public went mad for it.   This is one duo whose careers are reaching new heights.

Back to Louis Morisette… something that happened involving him is a good example of how politics and pop-culture can converge in Québec.  In 2004 he did a comedy sketch which mocked Pierre Karl Péladeau (PKP), the owner of Québecor and QMI (owner of the TVA television network and other media outlets – comprising about 40% of all Québec’s media industry).  Subsequently, certain contracts Morisette had with with QMI were terminated.   Artists in Québec (who traditionally support sovereignty) were outraged at this perceived interference by Québecor’s owner – and a highly publicized artists’ petition against PKP created waves in the celebrity world.   Fast forward 10 years, and now PKP is slated to be the next leader of the Parti Québecois (Québec’s provincial sovereignist party).   The question now is, if he leads the party into an election, can the Parti Québecois count on the traditional support of artists? – many of whom are associated with Le Plateau.   (Sigh… culture & politics… never a clean “separation” in Québec, and PKP carries a very mixed bag into the arena — the next election may have a fair share of flash points).

At any rate, I have no idea what Morissette’s political inclinations are (nor do I care) – I’m just using one event that happened a long time ago to show how lines can get blurred when culture & politics meet in Québec.   But I generally think that most people now just close their ears to it, and just enjoy pop-culture for what it is – entertainment.

INDEX (all posts / tous les billets)

If you’re curious, the second blog post, The poll that shocked, was actually supposed to be the first post.  The subject of this post gave me the idea and impetus to write this blog.

[Montreal Gazette] Dan Delmar: Why sovereignty withered under Stephen Harper (#381)

One week after the Federal election: The aftermath in Québec’s context (#380)

Qu’est ce qui est arrivé durant les quelques années suivant l’arrivée des Britanniques au Québec? (#379)

With so many languages out there, which one(s) to learn? (#378)

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SERIES:  Prime Minister Harper finally appeared on French-language variety TV (2 POSTS)

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More France / Québec dynamics, and plays on stereotypes (#375)

Thanksgiving in Canada & Québec (#374)

The party leaders’ final major interviews before the election (#373)

A very good election ad from Laval – which highlights Québec’s inclusive diversity (#372)

NOTA – None of the above (#371)

Enric Bellemare – Somewhat of a Québec fitness guru (#370)

Funny what gets dragged from the attic when politics get involved (#369)

How you know you’re doomed on election day (kidding… well, kinda) (#368)

Thierry Doucet, and his not so politically correct YouTube hit videos (#367)

Jean Leloup (#366)

Québec’s Squeegee Kids (#365)

A rare radio interview with Stephen Harper (#364)

A well-made BBC video questioning if Québec is able to integrate the Anglophone immigrants it “needs” (#363)

The Niqab debate is once again staying in English Canada’s headlines – With love from Québec (#362)

The Two Solitudes come to the fore after the French-language election debate (#361)

Our numerous Federal politicians’ French-language train wreck (#360)

CBC and the two solitudes (#359)

The Gémeaux’s reveals all shades of Québec’s cultural scene (#358)

Last night’s Gémeaux awards (#357)

Article of interest: French new wave: A cultural shift for Toronto as ‘invisible francophones’ settle in [Globe & Mail] (#356)

Article of interest: Finding a French connection: A week in an intense immersion program in rural Quebec [Globe & Mail] (#355)

Article of Interest: The Oxford Dictionary now shops at the dépanneur [Globe & Mail] (#354)

Un mot sur les opinions dans les réseaux sociaux (#353)

La radio de la CBC; un coffre au trésor pour les francophones qui désirent agrandir leurs horizons (#352)

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SERIES:  INTERESTING “RADIO” SHOW SUGGESTIONS ON RADIO-CANADA (3 POSTS)

These posts also include maps of Radio-Canada radio coverage across Canada.

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Let’s play ball: Who lives on the street? (#348)

The push from Montréal to found the West (#347)

Article: The Molsons, builders of our heritage (#346)

Another way to practice your French – Gov’t call centres (#345)

Some Metro (subway) & train videos from Montréal (#344)

You’re trying to learn French, you can read a bit, but it still sounds like one big garble. What to do? (#343)

Immigration et certaines prises de position des associations francophones hors Québec (#342)

A small insight into Québec’s unique “culture for children” (#341)

Portrait of a village: Debden, SK (#340)

Maritime population / community distribution based on language (#339)

Legendary loggers of a by-gone era – an online documentary from 1962 (#338)

The Quebec Board of the French Language (#337)

How summer vacation accentuates the “Two Solitudes” (#336)

Québec’s “surprise” album (and singer) of the summer (#335)

Philippe Couillard’s “premptive” damage control positioning and constitutional preps (#334)

Too funny !! Makes you love election season (#333)

Poll: How certain celebrities may vote (#332)

The most amateur, tacky video in the world about Gatineau, Québec (#331)

Two “mystery forts” tied to Québec’s role in founding Alberta and Western Canada (#330)

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SERIES:  COLLOQUIAL (SPOKEN) FRENCH – HARD-CORE LEARNING EXERCISE (6 POSTS)

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Quiz: Accents & Eagles (#326)

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SERIES:  QUÉBEC’S OWN B-DAY SONG & ANTHEM (4 POSTS)

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SERIES:  FRANCO-FÊTE DE TORONTO (5 POSTS)

2 weeks in Dundas Square / 2 semaines dans la place Dundas (Toronto), 
700,000 – 1,000,000 attendees / spectacteurs
100 concerts, 350 performers / chanteurs

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SERIES:  WEB-USERS’ VARIOUS QUÉBEC CULTURAL RANKINGS (11 POSTS)

Culturally, you are going to know a lot more about Québec after this series of posts

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“Hard-core French” learning exercise (#302)

300e billet / 300th post — Mon premier billet vidéo / My first video post

  • My first audio/visual video post (Combining thank-you to my blog followers, recognizing the 300th post, and wishing a happy Canada day all into one!).

Julie Snyder : « Je ne peux plus produire des émissions de télé » (#299)

Julie Snyder’s statement today stating she can no longer run her production company (#298)

Chantal Hébert (#297)

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SERIES:  THE ART OF “LA BISE” (KISSING ON THE CHEEK) (2 POSTS)

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Québec’s most trending YouTube video of the last couple of weeks (#294)

24 June: La Fête nationale du Québec / La Fête St-Jean Baptiste (#293)

Sometimes you just have to laugh… (#292)

Is there a “personality difference” between Francophones and Anglophones? (#291)

200e anniversaire de la bataille de Waterloo : Comment elle a pu façonner à jamais le Québec et le Canada (#290)

200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo:  How it shaped Québec and Canada (#289)

A different website which throws a different light on things:  Antagonist.net … (#288)

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SERIES:  EVENTS IN MODERN HISTORY WHICH HAVE CONDITIONED US ALL (13 POSTS)

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Texto Lingo, and the debate about dedicated cycling lanes (#274)

Texto Lingo : C-tu c kwa? (#273)

The first poll & interviews since PKP became head of the PQ (#272)

A widely read opinion article on PKP and the question of his shares in Québecor (#271) — written by Sébastien St-François (and features in the Huffington Post Québec)

A very interesting French-language experience in Anglophone regions of Canada (#270)

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SERIES:  “TU” VERSUS “VOUS” (2 POSTS)

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RadioEGO – Québec’s audio equivalent of a “Talk-radio YouTube” (#267)

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SERIES:  QUÉBEC’S 20 MOST TRUSTED INDIVIDUALS (11 POSTS)

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The French signage issue is back — with a twist (#255)

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(French / Français) SERIE:  LES PRÉJUGÉS À L’ÉGARD DE L’ALBERTA (6 billets)

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Ville d’Ottawa: Mouvement pour le bilinguisme official (drive to make the city of Ottawa officially bilingual) (#248)

Roy Dupuis (#247)

Another Movie:  Ceci n’est pas un polar (#246)

Movie: Les Maîtres du suspense (#245)

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SERIES:  QUÉBEC AND CANADIAN FRENCH SWEAR WORDS (6 POSTS)

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Today’s Top Hit French Music Countdown (#238)

Odds ‘n Ends post: A play on words (#237)

A Montréal Mystery: the Mountain Mirowave (#236)

Odds ‘n Ends Post from Québec City (#235)

All province’s & territories’ “Francophone” flags proudly being flown in Québec City (#234)

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SERIES:  A SYMBIOTIC EVOLUTION & RELATIONSHIP (4 POSTS)

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Les publicités négatives 2015 / 2015 Attack ads (#229)

And Easter in Québec?… (#228)

How a little bit of ignorance of the Two Solitudes can lead straight to failure (#227)

FR –  UNIS (la toute nouvelle chaîne de télévision au Canada) — Tout franco, tout beau (#226)

ENG – UNIS (Canada’s newest French-language TV station) — Tout franco, tout beau (#225)

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SERIES:  FRANCOPHONE ONTARIO & ONTAROIS (6 POSTS)

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A short word on Belgian French (#218)

A brief history of France’s former languages, and how they helped to shape our French in Canada (#217)

The end of SNL Québec? (#216)

Real-life documentary: “Bienvenue chez Normand” (#215)

Montessori has also gone French (#214)

PKP’s major Anti-Immigrant, Anti-Immigration Muck-up (#213)

One of Montréwood’s biggest movie stars: “Patrick Huard” (#212)

Even the media can have a bad day, week… or year (#211)

A very funny, well made movie: “Henri Henri” (#210)

La Semaine Verte (#209)

The new “Links” page (#208)

Une pub forte intéressante “pro-français” à la télé en Saskatchewan, qui passe à l’écran aux heures de grande écoute (#207)

An Interesting, “Pro-French” Advertisement on Prime-Time TV in Saskatchewan (#206)

Odds ‘n Ends post (#205) – From Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan

Today’s Top Countdown French Hit music (#204)

The 24/60 Charkaoui interview (#203)

Still a Nation of Hockey Fever – No doubt about it (#202)

Nanette Workman (#201)

Post #200 — Un mot sur l’épanouissement du français au Canada anglais

Old video footage of Québec in the 1930s, 40s & 50s (#199)

A surreal experience in Témiscaming (#198)

An embarrassing example of the “Two Solitudes” (#197)

Ding et Dong (#196)

A bit of humour – See if you can figure this out (#195)

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SERIES:  THE THREE “MARTINS” (4 POSTS)

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TWO-POST SERIES:  DENYS ARCAND

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Elvis Gratton – “Unveiled” (#188)

Congrats! You’re making progress! (“Théatre St-Denis” & “Le Capitole”) (#185)

Major Projects in Sister Cities: Towers and Arenas in YQB & YEG (#184)

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SERIES:  MULTICULTURALISM AND INTERCULTURALISM (8 POSTS)

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Fanny Bloom (#177)

Paul Arcand (#176)

The Duo “Coderre – Lebeaume” (#175)

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SERIES:  “REGIONAL” VOCABULARY AND EXPRESSIONS (6 POSTS)

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GND does it again – (#168)

Véronic DiCaire – Who is that singing? (#167)

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SERIES:  FRENCH IMMERSION (4 POSTS)

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Learning French – don’t be afraid to take things to the next level (#162)

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SERIES: THE WORST CITIES??  SERIOUSLY??  DON’T BE SO QUICK TO JUDGE!! (5 POSTS):

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The Names of Residents of Cities, Towns and Villages in Québec, in French (#156)

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MINI “EAVESDROPPING” SERIES

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SERIES: AN INCREDIBLE SHOWING OF SOLIDARITY ACROSS CANADA (3 POSTS):

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Pierre Lapointe (#143)

Yup, There are those days which sometimes seem like this… (#142)

Stereotypes France has of Québec, and vice-versa (#141)

François Massicotte (#140)

The annual “Rendez-vous de la Francophonie”, coming to a city near you (#139)

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SERIES:  “SOME THOUGHTS FROM ALBERTA” ( 9 POSTS) — A few thoughts from my two weeks spent in Alberta over the holidays.   A number of these posts could be of interest to both Francophones and Anglophones.

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Today’s French hit music countdown (#134)

25th Anniversary of RDI (#133)

Tonight’s 2014 Bye-Bye Celebration (#132)

Simon Durivage (#129)

A few Christmas traditions in Québec (#128)

Gérald Fillion – Watch this guy if you want to know about Québec’s economy (#124)

Oil Pipelines in Québec – A Hot-Button issue (#123)

Bouleversement politique en Alberta (#122) (with a Feb’15 addendum on an interesting analysis from CBC)

Antoine Bertrand (#121)

Premier Philippe Couillard’s Year-End Interview (#120)

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SERIES:  “QUI ÊTES-VOUS?” ( 7 POSTS)

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这加拿大说法语的情况就是什么意思?(#113)

Marc Dupré (#112)

Québec’s network of opinion makers (#111)

A couple of interesting online documentaries on Télé-Québec (#110)

Free online films from the National Film Board (#109)

If you love films, this (travelling) festival is for you (#108)

Official Francophone Representation outside Québec (#107)

Michaëlle Jean & La Francophonie (#106)

Gabrielle – The movie (#105)

Charles Tisseyre – Découverte, his activism, and his “Cuys” (#104)

Sugar Sammy:  Most people love him, but others… well… (sigh) (#103)

Europe & Canada:  Same language, but culturally worlds apart (#102)

Thanksgiving (#101)

100th post – Some thoughts on common values (#100)

Good Cop, Bad Cop (#99)

La petite vie (#98)

TV5, & European French (#97)

Antoine Olivier Pilon (#96)

Alex Nevsky (#95)

Denise Bombardier (#94)

Louis Morrissette (#93)

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SERIES:  OUR 32 ACCENTS (7 POSTS) – One of the Internet’s most comprehensive and descriptive texts on the subject of Canadian French accents.  It’s worth a look – you’ll find little else like it.

(If the “32 Accents” series is of interest to you, you may also find certain things mentioned in the post onJoual, Informal French (#23)” to be of interest, as well as the last half of the post “TV5 & European French (#97)” to also be of interest)

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Remembrance Day in Ottawa (#85)

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SERIES:  THE MYTHIC THREE (4 POSTS)

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Michel Rivard (#80)

Dagobert (#79)  (note:  I still can’t believe I wrote a post about a bar!)

1987 (#78)

Montréwood’s 10 hottest sitcoms and drama series (TV) (#77)

No way, Le Figaro (#76)   (This is a highly political, running post on matters involving PKP).

Michel Louvain (#75)

Québec’s Rough’n Toughs (#74)

Maxime Landry (#73)

Le Plateau (#72)

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SERIES:  CANADIAN BILINGUALISM TRENDS (4 POSTS)

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Alex Perron (#67)

Yesterday, a day without the Two Solitudes / La journée d’hier, sans les Deux solitudes (#66)

Dave Morissette (#65)

Mes raisons d’écrire ce blogue (#64)

This week’s national tragedy / La tragédie nationale de cette semaine (#63)

Political interview series of major Federal party leaders (#62)

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SERIES:  COMEDY (4 POSTS)

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“Patrice Lemieux” or “Daniel Savoie” (#57)

Martin Matte (#56)

Mommy – Now playing in your city (#55)

Lise Dion (#54)

Terrace et la côte-nord de la Colombie-Britannique (#53)

Anne Dorval (#52)

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SERIES:  A COUPLE TIPS TO LEARN & IMPROVE YOUR FRENCH, FAST! (2 POSTS)

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Maurais Live (#49)

C’est la vie (#48)

Éric Salvail (#47)

Virtual tour of some pretty cool places in Québec City (#46)

Evening news programs (#45)

Les FrancoFolies (#44)

Today’s hit music Franco-Countdown (#43)

Les Trois Accords (#42)

Cayouche (#41)

Louis-José Houde (#40)

Paul Houde (#39)

Pierre Houde (#38)

La poussière du temps (#37)

Stromae:  French hit music in Québec isn’t just from Québec and Canada (#36)

“Archambeault”, “Renaud-Bray” and Québec books (#35)

Les francs-tireurs (#34)

Claude Legault (#33)

Québec Talk Radio:  Who’s talking about what? (#32)

Les enfants de la télé (#31)

Katherine Levac – Move over Acadia… and Bonjour Ontario! (#30)

L’Été indien (#29)

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SERIES:  THE GÉMEAUX AWARDS (2 POSTS)

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Marc Labrèche (#26)

Jonas & the Massive Attraction (#25)

Kain (#24)

Joual, Informal French – An Audio Post with Examples (#23)

Fabienne Larouche (#22)

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SERIES:  MONTRÉWOOD (5 POSTS)

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Country Music = Québec (#16)

Isabelle Boulay (#15)

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SERIES:  THE POLL THAT SHOCKED (13 POSTS)

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Tout le monde en parle (#1)


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