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Web-users’ favorite Francophone Québécois – Part A (#307)

The last couple of posts looked at who web-users voted as their favourite ANGLOPHONE Québécois.

The next few posts will look at who web-users voted as their favourite FRANCOPHONE Québécois.

Although these rankings may not be scientific (anyone can cast their votes anytime on Rankopedia), the rankings are probably not far from reality.

One thing I have noticed is that many of the personalities “span the ages”.  This means that people of all ages must have voted, because some people may be well known to people over 40 or 50, but not necessarily as well known to someone in their 20s or 30s.

Let’s take a look…


1.  Celine Dion

  • Pop Singer (Born and raised in the greater Montréal region)
  • I don’t think I need to say anything more about Celine (is there anyone who doesn’t know her?).
  • I will however say that recently she has unfortunately been (inadvertently & unwillingly) dragged into politics for the first time in 25 years by her politically overzealous friend, Julie Snyder.  It’s actually quite sad (like others, I feel bad for Celine).  I wrote a post about it which you can read it by CLICKING HERE.

2.  Gilles Villeneuve


  • Race Driver (From St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Québec.  An interesting sidenote:  St-Jean is the city where the French-language Royal Military College of Canada is located.  It is one of two military colleges, with the English language college located in Kingston, Ontario [for American readers, this would be the Canadian equivalent of Westpoint].
  • Canada’s first Formula One superstar from the late 1970s to the early 1980s.   Winner of six Grands Prix.
  • Accredited with making large segments of both Québec and Canada society hooked on Formula One.
  • Tragically killed in a track accident in 1982.
  • Owing to his God-like status among fans at the time of his death, he has become a permanent emotional fixture in Québec’s collective psyche, and is still regularly talked about today.

3.  Jacques Villeneuve


  • Race Driver (Born St-Jean-Sur-Richelieu, Québec, Raised in both Québec and Switzerland).
  • Son of Gilles Villeneuve (above).
  • The hopes of a Formula One-hooked society were transplanted from Gilles Villeneuve to his son Jacques when he began to walk in his father’s shoes.
  • Those hopes were realized as Jacques Villeneuve began to win racing championships which placed him among the best in the world.
  • The peak of his glory peaked in the 1990s when he was the 1995 Indi 500 champion, the 1995 PPG Indi World Series champion, and the 1997 Formula One champion.
  • In Québec, Villeneuve has pretty much walked on water for much of his life.

Here is an interview with Jacques in ENGLISH for you.

4.  Julie Payette


  • Astronaut (Montréal, born & raised).
  • She has captured the imagination of kids and die-hard space fans across the country (Payette has lived and worked all across Canada, including as a captain at the Air Base, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan – a city I have always thought of as my second or third hometown owing to all the family I have there).
  • Was the chief Astronaut for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) based in Longueuil, Québec (the Canadian equivalent of NASA).
  • Was flight crew aboard the shuttle Discovery and mission specialist aboard the shuttle Endeavour.
  • She is a director of the Bank of Canada, and also a host of Découverte (the French-language equivalent of something like Quirks and Quarks meets The Nature of Things).

Here is a speech she gave in ENGLISH

Here is a short clip of her hosting the very popular FRENCH-language television program Découverte.

5.  Georges St-Pierre


  • Mixed Martial Arts fighter (From St-Jean-sur-Richelieu).
  • His role as a world champion fighter brought the sport to the forefront in Québec and to sold-out shows in his sport across Canada (even to this day).
  • I already wrote a post on St-Pierre.  You can read it by clicking HERE (Québec’s Rough’n Toughs)
  • The last few years, he has been treated as a pop-culture celebrity in Québec, brining guaranteed viewer ratings to any television program he appears on.

We’ll look at more web-users’ “Favorite” Québec personalities in the next few posts.



You are going to know a lot more about Québec after this series of posts

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

You’ll recall in the post “Montréwood television”, I briefly spoke about Québec’s major television networks.  One of the television networks is Télé-Québec.   It is Québec’s provincial public broadcaster, and I feel it does an excellent job on producing various documentaries (a couple of the more recent, more popular documentaries it produced this year were on Lucien Bouchard and Brian Mulroney – both of which had incredible ratings in Québec).   It also carries Les franc-tireursone of Québec’s most popular television programs.

Unfortunately for many people across Canada, Télé-Québec is only available on standard television packages in Québec, Ontario and New Brunswick.

But fortunately for people across Canada, like Radio-Canada, Télé-Québec does an excellent job of archiving many of its programs for later viewing online.

Télé-Québec recently aired two documentaries which have been archived on their website for online viewing.

  • “Rencontre avec Pauline Marois, Une femme, un destin” (“A meeting with Pauline Marois, A woman, A destiny”).   As you know, Pauline Marois was Québec’s former Premier. The documentary covers her thoughts after her April defeat, and it also contains footage as they accompanied her behind the scenes during her year as Premier.  I thought the documentary was done very well.   You can view it online here:   http://rencontreavecpaulinemarois.telequebec.tv/
  • “La gloire… mais à quel prix?” (“Glory… but at what price?”) is a two-part documentary about the ambitions of two famous children of two famous personalities – and how being their children affected their ambitions.   The documentary is presented in an interview format.   The first part covers retired Formula-One racer, Jacques Villeneuve (son of the late F-1 racer Gilles Villeneuve).  The second part (starting at 27:00 minutes) is on Liberal leader Justin Trudeau (son of the late former Prime Minister, Pierre Trudeau).   You can view the documentary at http://documentaires.telequebec.tv/la-gloire-mais-a-quel-prix.

Télé-Québec’s archived material does not stay online forever, so see if you can catch these before Télé-Québec replaces them with something newer.

Unfortunately, subtitling is not available if you require it.   But, if you’re learning French, still give this a shot.  If you’re at a basic level, the documentaries are still a good way to train your ear (they’re narrated in very standard French).   Enjoy your weekend.