This collection of articles, exhibits, images and quizzes explores francophone Canada in all its complexity, bringing its communities, institutions and struggles for language and education rights into focus. It also showcases francophone culture in Canada, from arts, literature, music, folklore and symbols to the identity and heritage of these communities. Above image: Saint Boniface Cathedral, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Nov. 2013. 38962960 © Wwphoto | Dreamstime.com
Patrick Huard, comedian, actor, writer, director, producer (born 2 January 1969 in Montreal, QC). Dynamic and charming, Patrick Huard is a multi-talented artist who has enjoyed great success in front of and behind the camera, as well as on stage and radio. One of Canada’s and Quebec’s biggest stars, he has appeared in some of the country’s highest-grossing films, including Les Boys (1997) and its two sequels; the record-breaking, Genie Award-winning comedy Bon Cop Bad Cop (2006), which he also co-wrote; his feature directorial debut, Les 3 p’tits cochons (2007); and Starbuck (2011). He has also starred in several successful Quebec TV series, including the hugely popular Taxi 0-22 (2007–10), which he also produced and directed. He has won numerous awards for his stand-up comedy and comedy writing, and has hosted several Juste pour rire galas, the Gala de l’ADISQ and the Soirée des Jutra (now Prix Iris), as well as several radio programs.
Paul Gérin-Lajoie, CC, GOQ, lawyer and politician (born 23 February 1920 in Montréal, QC; died 25 June 2018 in Montréal), is one of the great figures of Québec’s Quiet Revolution. He served as minister of Youth (1960–64) and Education (1964–66) in the Québec Liberal government of Jean Lesage. Gérin-Lajoie was responsible for reforming Québec’s education system and formulating Québec’s first international-relations policy, two milestone achievements of this period that helped to define modern Québec. He has also played a leading role in the field of international development, as president first of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and then of the Paul Gérin-Lajoie Foundation.
Colette Beauchamp, journalist and essayist (born in 1936 in Valleyfield, Quebec), has been writing for a variety of Quebec media for over 25 years. In 1987, she published a remarkable essay entitled Le silence des médias, a critical, feminist analysis of the profession of journalism in Quebec. In 1992, she published a biography of Quebec journalist Judith Jasmin, for which she received the Victor Barbeau Award from the Académie des lettres du Québec.
François-Eugène-Alfred Évanturel, lawyer, civil servant, legislator, minister, journalist and Clerk of the Senate of Canada (born 31 August 1846 in Quebec City, Quebec; died 15 November 1908 in Alfred, Ontario). A Liberal member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario from 1886 to 1905, he was the first French Canadian to serve as a minister in a provincial cabinet and is the only French Canadian to have served as Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario (1897-1902).
A native of Contrecœur, Qué, Louis Mathias Auger was the son of Louis Auger, a grocer, and Alphonsine Cusson. In the early 1900s, like many other French Canadian families who hoped to improve their situation, the Augers moved to New England, where Louis Mathias began his schooling.
Rock Demers, producer (b at Sainte Cécile-de-Levard, Qué 11 Dec 1933). After studying education and audiovisual techniques, he began to work in the film industry in 1960, first in the area of distribution and second for Montréal's International Festival of Film, which he managed from 1962 to 1967.
André Major, writer, literary critic, journalist (b at Montréal 22 Apr 1942). Since 1973 Major has been a producer of cultural programs for the Radio-Canada network. He first became known in 1961, with the appearance of 2 collections of poetry: Le Froid se meurt and Holocauste à deux voix.
Stéphane Bourguignon, writer, author, screenwriter (born 21 January 1964 in Montreal, QC). This script writer and novelist is best known by the general public for his screenwriting on the television shows Tout sur moi, Fatale-Station and La Vie, la vie. The recipient of three Gémeaux Awards for Best Script (2001, 2002 and 2007), he has also contributed to the careers of many Quebec comedians.
Active since 2002, Malajube is an indie rock band from Quebec consisting of Julien Mineau (vocals, guitar), Francis Mineau (vocals, drums, percussion, guitar), Thomas Augustin (vocals, keyboard) and Mathieu Cournoyer (bass). With four studio albums in their discography, this Montreal group (several members of which are originally from Sorel-Tracy) has won several Félix Awards and a Juno Award for Francophone Album of the Year (2012).
Ariane Moffatt, singer, songwriter and producer (born 26 April 1979 in Saint Romuald, today Lévis, QC). Ariane Moffatt sets herself apart with her urban pop style songs, whose alternately acoustic and electronic sounds lend them an airy, dreamlike quality. The recipient of numerous Félix Awards, including Revelation of the Year in 2003, she also won a Juno Award in 2009 for her album Tous les sens. That album was well received in France, where the singer has built valuable friendships in the artistic community; it also earned her the Grand Prix of the Académie Charles Cros.
Madeleine Meilleur, politician (born 22 November 1948 in Kiamika, Quebec). Member of the Provincial Parliament (MPP) in Ontario from 2003 to 2016, she was Minister of Culture, Minister of Community and Social Services, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services, Attorney General of Ontario, and Minister responsible for Francophone Affairs. On 9 June 2016, after 25 years in politics, Meilleur announced that she was resigning as MPP, Attorney General and minister.
Anne Hébert, CC, poet, playwright, novelist (born 1 August 1916 in Sainte-Catherine-de-Fossambault, QC; died 22 January 2000 in Montréal). A Companion of the Order of Canada, a member of the Royal Society of Canada, and a three-time winner of the Governor General’s Award, Anne Hébert's career was founded on a disciplined life devoted to writing. Her poetry and prose are models for other writers and have been analysed in hundreds of studies, particularly in Québec, but also in France and English Canada.
Manitoba’s ‘francophonie’ is the term used to designate French-speakers in Manitoba, historically referred to as “Franco-Manitobans.” Changes in 2017 to the name of the Société de la francophonie manitobaine (formerly the Société franco-manitobaine) and the definition of “francophone” in the provincial law on French language services reflect the changing nature of the community itself. The core of Manitoba’s francophones is formed by descendants of voyageurs as well as settlers from Québec and Europe, but since the early 2000s the community has seen a growing number of immigrants from non-European countries as well as an increasing integration of francophones for whom French is not their first language.
Georges St-Pierre (nicknamed GSP), mixed martial artist (born 19 May 1981 in Saint-Isidore, Québec). Considered one of the best ultimate fighters ever in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight division, St-Pierre has a career record of 26 wins and two losses. A UFC welterweight champion from 2006 to 2007 and 2008 to 2013, St-Pierre holds the record for the most title defenses in the UFC welterweight division, with nine. In 2017, he defeated Michael Bisping to win the middleweight championship. St-Pierre was named the 2008, 2009 and 2010 Rogers Sportsnet Canadian Athlete of the Year, the 2008 Black Belt Magazine MMA Fighter of the Year, the 2009 Sports Illustrated Fighter of the Year and the 2009 World MMA Awards Fighter of the Year.
Louis-Joseph-Paul-Napoléon Bruchési, Roman Catholic priest and Archbishop of Montréal from 1897 to 1939 (born 29 October 1855 in Montréal, Québec; died 20 September 1939 in Montréal). Paul Bruchési actively supported the Church’s involvement in education, health and welfare, and helped secure the establishment of many of the city’s leading institutions in these fields. He was also engaged in many public issues of the day, often taking a congenial approach with politicians and fellow prelates. In 1919, he began to suffer from a mysterious illness which by 1921, left him largely debilitated until his death in 1939.
The Association des Frères-Chasseurs was a secret society that aimed to free Canada from British rule. It was founded by Patriote exiles following their defeat in 1837. The association took several cues from the Masons, including a variety of rituals, oaths, hand signs and passwords. Commanded by Dr. Robert Nelson, the association quickly spread throughout the American borderland and Lower Canada. The association played a major role in the second phase of the Canadian rebellion, planning and leading the failed invasion of Lower Canada in November 1838. The Frères-Chasseurs and Hunters’ Lodges were part of the same general association with similar aims, practices and rituals. While one was organized by American sympathizers, the other was organized by Lower Canadian Patriotes.