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Two posts ago I spoke about Franco-Ontariens often being overlooked by people elsewhere in Canada (by Francophones and Anglophones) and outside Canada when people talk / write about French in Canada or Francophone culture in Canada. Yet Francophone Ontario is more than twice as populous as Acadia, and Ontario’s rate of growth of people who French at home (9.5% growth between 2006 and 2011), as well as the growth in (Anglophone) bilingualism are among the fastest growth rates in Canada.
The Premier of Ontario visiting faculty and students at “L’Université de Sudbury”, holding the Franco-Ontarien Flag
In this post, I’ll provide many different links relating to Franco-Ontarien society. These links are only the tip of the iceburg. If you can think of a subject related to Francophones and French in Ontario, you are sure to be able to find it online. Therefore, the list below could go on and on if I had more time.
(Note: the word Ontarois, mentioned in the title of this post, is used more and more interchangeably with Franco-Ontarien. I personally have a tendency to say Ontarois more than Franco-Ontarian, but everyone makes their own choice with respect to saying Ontarois or Franco-Ontarien).
Statistics Canada with numbers of users of French at home :
a) Wikipedia article on Franco-Ontariens:
- French (more detailed than English) – http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Ontariens
- English – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franco-Ontarian
b) 40th Annual Franco-Ontarien Festival (June 11-13, 2015): http://www.ffo.ca/
- The largest event of the year. Held in Ottawa. Ontario’s version of the annual summer festival on the Plains of Abraham in Québec City.
c) Ontario government’s Bureau of Francophone Affairs: http://www.ofa.gov.on.ca/fr/index.html
- Their page with census statistics: http://www.ofa.gov.on.ca/fr/franco-stats.html
- Their page with info on the Franco-Ontarien flag: http://www.ofa.gov.on.ca/fr/franco-drapeau.html
- Francophone and French-Service hospitals, doctors and health services: www.health.gov.on.ca/fr
d) Laurentian University: http://laurentienne.ca/institut-franco-ontarien
- One of Ontario’s universities which offers post-secondary education in French
e) University of Ottawa: http://www.uottawa.ca/fr
- Ontario’s largest university offering post-secondary education in French.
f) The Francophonie Association of Ontario: http://monassemblee.ca/
- A politically and socially oriented NGO which takes up the cause of anything Francophone in Ontario
g) Le Droit daily newspaper: http://www.lapresse.ca/le-droit/
- The largest daily French-language newspaper in Ontario. Based in Ottawa. One of the largest daily newspapers in Canada.
h) Établissement.org : http://etablissement.org/
- An organization who assists anyone who wants to move to Ontario and live in French
i) An NFO video about “what happened” when some youth showed up at the Saint-Jean-Baptiste Festival on the Plains of Abraham in Québec city, carrying the Franco-Ontario flag: https://www.onf.ca/film/pis_nous_autres_dans_tout_ca
- Guess what happened? Go on, take a guess… Nothing! As we found out, many people in Québec had not even heard of Franco-Ontariens. HUGE huge SIGH towards the Francophone-to-Francophone Two Solitudes. The Two Solitudes are not only Anglophone-Francophone. (A whole other subject which I could write a book about).
j) The Government of Ontario’s website devoted to Francophone immigration to Ontario (note: much of the French I hear in Toronto carries an accent from other parts of the world, Europe, Africa, the Middle-East… so something is obviously working for Ontario’s Frencophone immigration program): http://www.ontarioimmigration.ca/fr/living/OI_FR_HOW_LIVE_FRENCH_CULTURE.html
k) List of better-known or community-marking Franco-Ontariens: http://franco.ca/canadienerrant/index.cfm?Voir=blogue&Id=12329&M=2964
l) Northern Ontario Travel site: http://www.northernontario.travel/fr/direction-ontario/5-choses-que-vous-ne-saviez-pas-sur-le-franco-ontarien
- Provides a list of things you maybe wouldn’t have known about Francophone Ontario.
m) L’Express de Toronto: http://www.lexpress.to/
- Toronto’s French language newspaper
n) The Franco-Ontarien Heritage Network: http://www.rpfo.ca/fr/
o) The Franco-Ontarien Folklore Centre: http://www.cfof.on.ca/accueil
p) The Franco-Ontarien Student’s Association (RÉFO) : http://www.refo.ca/
q) The Franco-Ontarien Foundation : http://fondationfranco-ontarienne.ca/#
- A fund raising organization which supports Francophone activities across Ontario
r) The Franco-Ontarien Institute: http://ifolaurentienne.ca/
- A research institute on everything regarding Francophone Ontario.
- Based out of the Laurentian University, one of Ontario’s Universities which offers post-secondary education in French.
s) The Francophone Centre of Toronto: http://www.centrefranco.org/
- A resource centre for Francophones in need of assistance in Toronto (health, social services, arts, education, anything).
t) Alliance Française: http://www.alliance-francaise.ca/fr/
- A good place to start if you want to learn French and take French courses (in different parts of Ontario).
- Note: Local school boards also offer a “ton” of evening courses everywhere in Ontario. In Toronto, it is difficult to go more than 10 – 20 blocks without seeing a school or private education centre somewhere which offers French courses for adults… making Ontario one of the easiest places to learn French in the world outside of French-dominant societies (quite interesting in that respect).
SERIES: FRANCOPHONE ONTARIO & ONTAROIS (6 POSTS)
- ENG – “Les Ontarois”: More than double Acadia’s population, yet they rarely get outside attention (#219)
- ENG – Celebrating 400 years of Francophone history in Ontario (#220)
- ENG – Links related to everything “Franco-Ontarian” or “Ontarois” (#221)
- ENG – Why Franco-Ontarians are not better recognized in a pan-Canadian sense, or internationally – Part 1 of 2 (#222)
- ENG – Why Franco-Ontarians are not better recognized in a pan-Canadian sense, or internationally – Part 2 of 2 (#223)
Véronic DiCaire has become a singing sensation on two fronts, both here on the homefront as well as abroad. She has a career as a singer, with a couple of really good albums to her name. But she has become wildly famous for being able to impersonate over 50 celebrities (you would swear she is actually Céline Dion if you were to listen to her sing with your eyes shut… I’ll provide a link to her official YouTube channel below).
A couple of nights ago, I happend to see her in a whole new light, which is prompting me to write this post. I’ll get to this a bit later. But first, let’s begin from the end (the big stuff), and then quickly work backwards.
DiCaire has become a star who had a permanent show in Vegas (at least until it was no longer permanent), doing her singing impersonations. She has been a coach/judge on France’s X-Factor, and she has had numerous televised specials in Francophone Switzerland, in France, and here at home, in Montréwood.
How she came to this point is a bit of an interesting story… (un alignement fortuit des astres en sortes, if you’re looking for a new expression in French).
First, Véronic DiCaire is not from Québec. She is Franco-Ontarienne (or Ontaroise as Franco-Ontariens are now being called more-and-more) from the community of Embrun, not far from Ottawa, in the francophone region of Eastern Ontario. However much of her career has centred around Montréwood, where she found some of her big breaks.
DiCaire performed in numerous stage musicals from the time she was a young lady in the early 2000s, performing in Montréal, as well as in Paris. It introduced her to some of the larger names in Montréwood’s pop-culture industry and resulted in an album which brought her more attention as a Felix nominee in 2005.
Things moved quite fast and she became an opening act for Céline Dion’s Taking Chances tour around 2008, doing singing impersonations of other celebrities. René Angélil was won over and he sent her on tour as as star in her own right, across Québec, France, Belgium and Switzerland.
Her impersonation talents and hit performances have since made her a household name in Francophone Canada, across Francophone Europe, and with many Anglophones. It’s safe to say she has pop-star status.
At the beginning of this post I mentioned I just saw her in a whole new light. Véronic DiCaire just finished hosting SNL Québec (Québec’s version of Saturday Night Live) – and she was amazing!! I have never seen her in this light before and her acting talents are just as good as her voice. When I watched her introduction at the start of the show, the way she was carrying herself and the way she joked immediately reminded me of the type of charm Cameron Diaz radiates. Check it out and see if I’m wrong. You can watch the episode yourself on Télé-Québec’s website here: http://zonevideo.telequebec.tv/media/19936/veronic-dicaire/snl-quebec.
Something else which is kind of interesting… she shared the stage in SNL with Katherine Levac who is also Ontaroise, from a community just down the road from where DiCaire grew up.
Véronic DiCaire’s official website is http://veronicdicaire.com/
Official videos can be viewed on her on her YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BuKhv2Zf2Fo&feature=youtu.be
If you’re in France, Eastern Ontario, Belgium, Québec, or Switzerland over the next few months, see if you can catch one of her shows.
Please stick to official sites and do not pirate. Our artists are part of our cultural heritage.
DiCaire just annonced she will be doing pan-Canadian tours in English for Anglophones and also in French for Francophones in Western Canada, Ontario and Acadia. Refer to her official website in the coming months for dates, locations and tickets.