Québec Separatists Save St.Jean Baptist Show From Ultra-Nationalists

with 96 comments


Oh dear, the children are fighting again.

As the whole World’s now heard, some English-speaking bands were kicked off a St-Jean-Baptist show – a yearly celebration of Québec culture also know as La Fête Nationale – last week before being promply re-booked, following a couple of days of heated radio talk-show action.

Here’s what happened. A couple of guys with a record label and show promoters, quite a few of whom are separatists who let the Parti Québécois host their rallies in their bar on St-Denis Street, decided it would be cool to put up a St.Jean show for those between, say 7 and 49 years old, as opposed to the family show usually held in Parc Maisonneuve.

On the bill, next to the very worthy Malajube and Les Dales Hawerchuck, a couple of lesser know Montreal Anglos called Lake of Stew and Bloodshot Bill.

Apparently, the idea of English-speaking performers at the St.Jean show upset a few board members of the sponsoring neighborhood group and a few people at the Société St-Jean-Baptiste, the show’s main sponsors.  The idea being that people performing in English at a show celebrating Québec’s uniquely French culture would out be of place, like Garth Brooks at a Black Pride Rally or Jerry Seinfeld hosting the Latin Grammy Awards.

Not wrong, just irrelevant.

Montréal’s ultra-patriotic English-speaking press, well known for turning any issue, from municipal elections to the colour of margarine  into issues of ethnic confrontation, was overjoyed by the (supposed) ban.   The familiar series of editorials carrefully balancing seething bitterness with anglocentric self-rigeousness followed with their familiar 3-point structure: 1. Evoque the myth of the perfect society that existed before the separatists got the French-Canadians excited 2. accuse French-speakin nationalists of systematically excluding Anglos (no questions about the Gazette’s support for separate English schools and hospitals, please) and 3. blame the Parti québécois. 

“An ancient holiday, once celebrating the summer solstice, then a saint, then all French-Canadians, was converted by the Parti Québécois into a subsidized festival of nationalism. For some, this means no English need apply – though we are allowed to pay taxes to subsidize such events. (We’re almost afraid to ask the people who hold that view : would anglophones performing in French be acceptable ?)”

What the Gazette’s editorials fail to tell you is that the separatist Parti Québécois publicly supported the Anglos right to play.  “Maybe their intentions were good, the PQ’s culture critic Pierre Curzi said, “but they need to reconsider this bad decision.  I think it’s great that anglophone bands want to take part in the Fete nationale. It shows that our society is open.”

Guy A. Lepage, the openly separatist host of the “big” St-Jean show, also publicly spoke out for the Anglo’s right to play.  “I’ve always lived in Montréal and I’ve always been a sovereigntist.  I’ve seen my city welcome Anglos, Haitians, Chinese, Arabs and Jews.  I’ve seen my city transform itself and I love it.  I love its multiethnic reality and I believe the only possibility to one day get the nation we deserve is if we make all Quebecers trip out on our opinions.”

Louise Harel, the former PQ minister and separatist running for mayor of Montréal who’s been the victim of a very ethnically divisive and partisan slander campaign by the Montreal Gazette, also said she thought the Anglos should be allowed to play.

By the way, if the Montreal Gazette had ever bothered to cover any St-Jean show in their (very) long existence, they would know that many Anglos who enthusiastically partake in Québec’s French culture, artists like Paul Cargnello and Jim Corcoran, have performed many times at the celebrations.

In the end the various separatist sponsors of l’Aut’ St-Jean had a conference call and it turns out almost none of their members had any problem with the concept of Anglos at the show.  In any case, the separatist promoters of l’Aut’ St-Jean were very clear that either their Anglo friends were going to play, or they were going to cancel the whole thing.

Of course there are some angry ultra-nationalists who were, and are probably still, upset about the shows not being pure reflections of their vision of Québec.

The Gazette gave them a soapbox.  The real leaders of Québec’s separatist movement told them to shut up. 

And in the end, it’s the separatists that saved the show and stood up for the Anglos.

But don’t expect the Gazette to ever tell you that story.

Written by angryfrenchguy

June 17, 2009 at 3:33 pm

96 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Very nicely put AFG!

    Pure Laine

    June 17, 2009 at 4:26 pm

  2. the problem was that St-Jean Baptiste is supposed to be a day of celebration of francophone culture. By that logic, having English be there makes no sense. It was not racist. It took an anglophone blogger, Fagstein, to point that out. The media do not point that out. I am especially shocked that the francophone media are not pointing that out; they seem willing to play the race card as the anglophone media.

    Of course, St-Jean Baptiste Day has evolved into la Fête Nationale, whose goal is to celebrate Quebec as a whole, not just francophone Quebecers. They need to make up their minds on whether to call it St-Jean or la Fête Nationale; it can’t be both.


    June 17, 2009 at 4:35 pm

  3. “…it can’t be both.”

    why not? i recall that kwanza was fabricated out of thin air as an afican-american celebration of the time generally recognised as “christmas”. the authour of this fabrication was a black panther and revolutionary marxist. turns out he was a thug and criminal.

    tradition has no value in this mindset. the problem antonio, is that when changes support a personal agenda – principles can be ignored or relegated to non-importance. the church expropriated pagan celebrations and they faded away – it’s not like it hasn’t been accomplished before.

    but here’s a question for you – how would you feel if the feds dumped huge sums of money into a celebration every june 24th (with much more $$$$$$ disproportionately into quebec) in order to promote “canuck maple leaf unification day”?

    i agree and it is a shit idea. quand même…

    regardless, i hope you have a wonderful holiday celebration. i hope to be attending a méchoui in ste-anne-des-plaines. yahoooo!


    June 17, 2009 at 6:28 pm

  4. “but here’s a question for you – how would you feel if the feds dumped huge sums of money into a celebration every june 24th (with much more $$$$$$ disproportionately into quebec) in order to promote “canuck maple leaf unification day”?”

    That’s precisely what they do on July 1.


    June 18, 2009 at 9:23 am

  5. NO not premiere juillet – le 24 juin!

    if you want to discuss canada’s national holiday let’s wait a week or two. we’re discussing st-jean – quebec’s national holiday.


    June 18, 2009 at 5:27 pm

  6. you may appreciate this. I know I did, since it poses essentially the first questions which went through my mind when in all this kerfuffle began about anglo-Quebeckers saying “it’s our fête too”, etc.


    June 17, 2009 at 7:48 pm

  7. I’ve attended or at least been aware of many St. Jean celebrations in anglo neighborhoods. Can’t tell you how many anglos were involved in organizing them, but there were plenty in attendance.


    June 17, 2009 at 8:07 pm

  8. How about some examples of SJBD activities which actually arose from the initiative of anglophone communities? (I don’t mean the francophones of Pointe-Claire.) That’s what they were asking and I was asking to myself. Who organized what you’re talking about? And your memory seems vague on whether you attended these things or were “aware” of them.

    The anglos who now – yes *now*, that is, for the purposes of pimping off this controversy – cry a river over how they’re Québécois à part entière and how “it’s our fête too” haven’t exactly been without the organizational means or the community base for demonstrating this affection for la Saint-Jean all these years have they? They number in the 100’s of 1000’s in Greater Montreal and the Outaouais alone. They have their own mass media and entertainment scene and arts infrastructure. They organize for their own CHU while health dollars are scarce. They organize to drag Bill 101 through the mud and before the courts and before the UN. They organize to emasculate the Referendum Law. They organize to demand “freedom of choice” of language of education for allophones. They can organize quite well when it suits their purposes and preoccupations. They’ll pack a venue to listen to nutbar partitionists, for example.

    They’re much more numerous and better set to mount spectacles than are the francophones of Sudbury and Kapuskasing who stage spirited SJBD fêtes every year. So what have they organized, specifically, what initiatives have they taken as a community to mark this event which is theirs too? A reasonable question, because I smell a double discourse here.


    June 17, 2009 at 8:34 pm

  9. Come on, James! You can’t be serious… you’re quoting “” in order to support your argumentation! I mean, even you can recognize that this site is anything but objective! Oh wait… no, actually, maybe you can’t!

    There are a couple of reasons why, in my opinion, anglo communities have not gotten involved in those celebration as much over the years. I’ve seen a lot of SJB celebrations, it’s it often turns into an occasion to promote separatists slogans. But whatever, I’m not expecting you to even consider this argument, so let’s just say I’m throwing it out here so that others can comment on it.


    June 17, 2009 at 11:34 pm

  10. … and that was me… always forget to enter my name…!


    June 17, 2009 at 11:39 pm

  11. Vinster:

    Presumably an SJBD event organized by anglophone community groups wouldn’t turn into a big separatist party. Now do you have anything to say about the *contents* of that article, or is the sole fact that it’s published on sufficient to discredit it?


    June 18, 2009 at 9:42 am

  12. fred,

    The Tribune Libre section of Vigile – just as *the title implies* – publishes pieces for whom the author(s) alone assume responsibility so this is just another [sigh] vacuous attempt by Vinster to put the writer of something on trial for his supposed intentions or belief system when he’s unable to refute what the writer says.

    The idea that there’d be any serious debate over the general not to say total disinterest in the anglo community and its institutions and media for the fête de la St-Jean is almost humorous really. But look how the hackles go up when the totally f*g obvious is stated, or even suggested. This is a summer stat holiday so of course in QC it’s an excuse for everyone to “party.” But community mobilizations to stage *community* events are what’s in question here, not private affairs with 10$ cover charges followed by fees of 5$ for every 1$ of beer imbibed.

    Vinster explains that maybe anglos would participate if the events took place on only their terms. Ah bon. Sort of like when one of them’s on a C.A., all the other directors speak English. Well we’re all partant for things which we get to dictate of course. Maybe the anglos should review the program for Puerto Rican Day Parade in NYC and the Episcopalians vet the Boston St. Paddy’s festivities to make them less exclusionary. But francophone federalists who comprise a significant % of the Québécois don’t boycott the St-Jean on these terms. Nor does the French service of CBC whose mandate includes fostering Canadian national unity. On the anglophone side it’s interest nul, *except* when something like this controversy erupts which can be instrumentalized. Otherwise what are the chances that anything to do with SJBD would be making headlines on Ontario affiliates of the CBC on the 16th of June?

    How could these anglophone community groups based in milieux of 100’s of 1000’s of people mark the fête on their own communities’ terms? By organizing themselves, maybe? Posez la question, c’est y répondre. But we can’t critize what’s obvious here, we must only criticize *stating* the obvious.


    June 18, 2009 at 1:04 pm

  13. “But community mobilizations to stage *community* events are what’s in question here, not private affairs with 10$ cover charges followed by fees of 5$ for every 1$ of beer imbibed.”



    June 18, 2009 at 1:36 pm

  14. @ James

    Yes, James, yes… That’s exactly what I said. You get it ALL right.

    @ Fred

    I’d say that most of the time, I’d be sufficient to discredit it.


    June 18, 2009 at 9:17 pm

  15. Really. Does that extend to other notorious authors who are regularly published on Vigile, such as André Pratte, Alain Dubuc, and Lysiane Gagnon?


    June 18, 2009 at 9:22 pm

  16. @ Fred

    This is why I’m saying “most of the times”. I’d also point out that when a paper by these authors gets posted, it is often preceded by an aggressive rant ridiculing their positions.

    Pratte, Gagnon and Dubuc have their opinions. Sometimes, on some subjects, I feel like they’re right, sometimes I feel like they’re living in the past. Overall, however, La Presse has more credibility than Vigile.Net. I don’t think this can really be debated, but you may try if you wish.


    June 18, 2009 at 10:14 pm

  17. Oh, you mean those ultra-nationalists? I thought for sure you were talking about these guys:

    It also seems to me there was more criticism coming from from french press than the Gazette. Even one of your own got in on the act:

    I really don’t see what the problem is.


    June 17, 2009 at 6:29 pm

  18. I don’t follow your logic. Are you being sarcastic? Or perhaps my second language is playing tricks on me… Can you clarify? Thanks.

    Pure Laine

    June 17, 2009 at 7:35 pm

  19. Honestly, I don’t see the sarcasm. AFG said the concert was rescued from ultra-nationalists, but the only ultra-nationalists who were literally threatening the show can be found at the first link.

    And plenty of french journalists offered up critiques similar to ones the Gazette made, so again, I don’t really see what the problem is.

    BTW, mauditanglais was meant only to live a one post existence on another blog, but I forgot to log out.


    June 17, 2009 at 8:13 pm

  20. Oh… I see… you’re stretching it the other way… thanks again.

    Pure Laine

    June 17, 2009 at 8:53 pm

  21. James: “And your memory seems vague on whether you attended these things or were “aware” of them”

    In some cases I attended in others I was aware of…fuck you are impossible to talk to, I’m done.


    June 17, 2009 at 8:57 pm

  22. compare and contrast:

    What’s really sad isn’t that anglos are unwelcome at a St-Jean party, that should have been clear to anyone already, but if it wasn’t maybe now it will be.


    June 13, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    I’ve attended or at least been aware of many St. Jean celebrations in anglo neighborhoods. Can’t tell you how many anglos were involved in organizing them, but there were plenty in attendance.


    June 17, 2009 at 8:07 pm


    June 17, 2009 at 9:26 pm

  23. @ RoryBellows

    “…fuck you are impossible to talk to, I’m done.”

    Damn, I thought I was the only one! Seriously, sometimes some people are just not worth the time and effort!


    June 17, 2009 at 11:38 pm

  24. … me again… I’m annoying myself.


    June 17, 2009 at 11:39 pm

  25. Aww, James just can’t let it rest, even after I tell him to go fuck himself, he’s still trying to get my attention.

    James, you know when you’re having a conversation with a francophone, and you’re struggling along in your thick Ontario accent, trying to convince them how “down” you are by quoting from the FLQ manifesto you carry around in your back pocket. And afterwards, you leave thinking you’ve alleviated your anglo-imperialist guilt, you know what they do? They laugh at you.


    June 17, 2009 at 9:46 pm

  26. I don’t have a thick Ontario accent and couldn’t quote from the FLQ manifesto “RoryBellows”, and I forgot to commend you on how much your internet “handle” suits your windbag persona.


    June 17, 2009 at 9:50 pm

  27. Funny how the SSJB can agree to be friendly and act like adults, but the people on this blog cannot. (though I have to admit that last windbag comment was pretty clever)


    June 17, 2009 at 10:04 pm

  28. You’ll argue over anything, won’t ya? Shit I try to respond to your question by ponting out that there are some celebrations in anglo neighborhoods and you launch into another anti-anglo rant. Then you expect me to start researching the mother tongues of local party organizers to prove something I really don’t give a shit about in the first place?


    June 17, 2009 at 10:04 pm

  29. @ AFG

    I’m very glad that we share the same opinion on this issue. However, there is one little thing I’d like to point out :

    “Montréal’s ultra-patriotic English-speaking press, well known for turning any issue, from municipal elections to the colour of margarine into issues of ethnic confrontation, was overjoyed by the (supposed) ban.”

    I don’t want to start a rant but… that’s a bit like your own reports on this blog, where you try to take advantage of every little event and spin it enough in order to promote your views. You’re blaming The Gazette for it… yet, as a separatist (well, seems to me you’re leaning more that way… not that there’s anything wrong with it! :P) blogger, your tactics are very similar.

    Like you said, it is a good thing that moderate separatists were able to stand up against ultra-nationalists. But just like lots of separatist still see the “evil shadow of Trudeau” in everything that bears the name “Liberal”, for those of us that are not convinced by the independance project, these ultra-nationalists seem like a threatening unreasonable bunch with whom I’d rather not be associated.

    This is probably something that the PQ should settle once and for all. Who’s really leading this formation : the moderates, or the ultra-nationalist fringe? We all know that the moderates have held the microphone for a while, but it often seems hard for them to dissociate themselves from the idiotic behavior of a minority of their colleagues.

    Tactically, and on the short run, this would probably prove a bad strategy mostly because it would split the votes. But on the long run, it could prove a better way to convince people that this is a serious project that can actually work.

    @ Edwards

    “Funny how the SSJB can agree to be friendly and act like adults, but the people on this blog cannot”

    Well, actually, if we could all agree to ignore James, it would probably solve 90% of the problems! :P


    June 17, 2009 at 11:53 pm

  30. tentative conclusions (and so all subject to correction):

    anglophone media, whether print or electronic, has never shown any serious interest in SJBD, denying it any serious coverage or promotion

    anglophone community organizations, service clubs, cultural groups, “patriotic” groups, entrepreneurial and businesses groups and the like have basically never put together events anologous either to the major “official” SJBD celebration nor those of a more regional local nature such as Rosemont, and nothing on the scale of even what franco-Ontarians in Northern Ontario organize with lesser resources and population

    anglo electronic media gives no serious exposure to francophone artists, whether on June 24th or any other day of the year, the inverse of the francophone media’s exposure to anglophone artists.

    but *now*, and only coincidentally of course to this recent controversy:

    it’s anglo-Quebeckers’ fête too, they want to celebrate it too, it means just as much to them, etc etc etc. Seriously. Sans ironie.


    June 18, 2009 at 12:00 am

  31. * claps hands for the very serious research and analysis *


    June 18, 2009 at 12:04 am

  32. …while I for my part sit in mute admiration of how the blog’s paragon of the Scientific Method systematically refutes my tentative conclusions with seemingly no effort at all.

    However, his vows to “ignore” me, made quite some time and several blogs back, appear to lack conviction.


    June 18, 2009 at 12:26 am

  33. Can you write something in modern English for once? This Shakespearean stuff is good, but only in moderation.


    June 18, 2009 at 2:14 pm

  34. So it’s not the use of English that you’re advocating, but the use of *dumbed down* English.

    Perhaps you would prefer this site:



    June 18, 2009 at 6:38 pm

  35. But have you seen this?


    June 18, 2009 at 9:02 pm

  36. @ James

    “…while I for my part sit in mute admiration of how the blog’s paragon of the Scientific Method systematically refutes my tentative conclusions with seemingly no effort at all”

    It’s called experience.

    * raises thumb up for James in sign of encouragement *


    June 18, 2009 at 9:22 pm

  37. @ James

    “However, his vows to “ignore” me, made quite some time and several blogs back, appear to lack conviction.”

    Yes, this is problematic. You see, I wish to ignore you, but also, I wish you to know that I’ m ignoring you. But then, if I let you know that I’m ignoring you, then I am not really ignoring you. It’s a bit complicated, but I’m working on it.
    *raises thumb for himself*


    June 18, 2009 at 9:58 pm

  38. “anglo electronic media gives no serious exposure to francophone artists…”

    Empirically I think this is true, and I think it goes a long way towards explaining the widely held misapprehension among Anglos that Québec culture is represented mainly by Céline Dion.

    The best way to check out Québec artists is over the internet, of course, but even there I see time and time again (from comments on YouTube, etc.) that a lot of people around the world assume that anyone who sings in French must be from France.


    June 18, 2009 at 7:04 am

  39. James

    “anglophone media, whether print or electronic, has never shown any serious interest in SJBD, denying it any serious coverage or promotion”

    you are being too kind, James. Anglophones have not just been uninterested in SJBD, they have been hostile to it. Just reading the English and French Wikipedia entries for SJBD shows this. This paragraph below is in the English entry but not the French entry:

    “The central problem of this holiday for the more progressive Quebecois community is that this festivity celebrates the “pure laine” (literally translated as “pure wool”), a term used to describe someone born in Quebec and directly descended from European blood. The Saint Jean Baptiste holiday, therefore, focuses on racial purity thereby alienating the growing numbers of non-white, non-French and non-racist Quebecois (of all origins). Moreso this festivity historically effaces the very real historical and contemporary brutality toward’s Quebec’s indigenous communities who are virtual guests–and badly treated guests–in their own land. As such, the idea of celebrating racial purity would be akin to celebrating a national holiday for say the Ku Klux Klan; yet this holiday is never put into question in the provincial or local governments despite a recent poll which shows that 59% of Quebecers identify themselves as racist. [25] Many Quebecois are considering holding anti-Saint Jean celebrations in 2009 in order to honour a society that is inclusive and non-discriminatory since many view honoring one version of history–a version that explicitly negates ethnic diversity and historical conquest–does not construct dialogue nor teach the tuth about the multifarious types of conquest and empire in this province.”

    I bet allophone, Vinster et al. will be attending one of those anti-St-Jean celebrations.


    June 18, 2009 at 3:43 pm

  40. Thanks Antonio for sharing that delirious entry in Concordiapedia. Actually, that would probably be a good venue for the anti-Saint-Jean. They could stage it on the Carpetbaggercordia campus, and maybe invigilate so that none of the performances are in French, though frankly I think that rule would be largely self-enforcing anyway. A much better bet than on a francophone university campus, since the % of “anti-racist” i.e. anglophone Quebeckers frequenting the francophone university system falls within what I believe statisticians refer to as the “margin of error.”


    June 18, 2009 at 5:00 pm

  41. @ James

    Me thinks you like to hear yourself type on the keyboard.


    June 18, 2009 at 9:35 pm

  42. @ Antonio

    “I bet allophone, Vinster et al. will be attending one of those anti-St-Jean celebrations.”

    You know, paranoia can actually be treated with small little pills…

    You guys are really annoying. I think the world is probably too complicated for James and you : there’s black, there’s white, and then there’s a whole world of gray. The simple fact that somebody disagrees with you on some matters does not mean that he stands at the complete opposite from your position.


    June 18, 2009 at 9:33 pm

  43. There’s an anti-SJJB celebration? I had no idea. What for?

    SJBD to me is just a great day for sitting on my ass and not doing f***all. Just like Canada Day, Labour Day, Victoria Day, etc… This year, SJBD falls on Wednesday, so unfortunately, some of us have to go to work, and skip the anti-SJB demonstrations.

    There is one holiday worth celebrating. It’s called St Patrick’s Day. I duly honor this special day by consuming (imbibing?) large quantities of lager. You gotta love these Irish folks.


    June 19, 2009 at 8:37 am

  44. Only in Quebec. Of course, I’m not comparing Quebec to Franco’s Spain, although when I see Duceppe barking like a rabid dog, I worry. After all, that freak of nature could be el presidente of my new country one day. (Somebody give him some Prozac, please. Thank you.)

    Regarding Canada and North America in general, I have no idea what the linguistic situation is like. I’ve never lived there so I can’t speak for it. But I’d like to know some things. Specifically, do French public high schools exist in the ROC where there’s a demand, like in Ontario or NB? Would I be barred from sending my kids to a French high school in the ROC (if one existed in my area)? If I open a business in the ROC, can I put up signs in French, or any other language, but with no English?

    I would like to know (honestly). If there are any laws like that, let me know. I’ll take a warm leak on them like I’ve been taking a warm leak on their Bill 101 equivalents.


    June 19, 2009 at 12:31 pm

  45. Allophone, something tells me you wouldn’t have loved the Irish so much in the early part of the 20th century…


    June 19, 2009 at 9:36 am

  46. I’d probably love them even more. I’d probably help them fight. I would have been with them all the way, in 1916, before, and after.

    I also support them today since they’re the kind of guys you can sit down with, drink a pint or two (or ten), and have a good laugh.

    And please, don’t draw any parallels between the French colonies in NA (that later got re-colonized by a more powerful colonial power), and the struggle that the Irish had mounted to defend their land against the Brits.,+stevenson&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=YAFphzg30J&sig=himevq5Z8XVN6Oc6seeFWGNKE3o&hl=en&ei=wqM7So_YApfFmQe3w428Dg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1

    You can compare the Irish to the Natives though. That comparison will make sense.


    June 19, 2009 at 10:26 am

  47. What about the Catalans?


    June 19, 2009 at 10:46 am

  48. Language suppressed under Franco, who “promoted” Spanish instead. Language “promotion” is alive and well, I guess.


    June 19, 2009 at 11:11 am

  49. Ah yes, French in Quebec, Canada and North America is equivalent to Spanish (Castellano) in Spain. And English here is equivalent to little old Català and Euskadi.

    Got it.


    June 19, 2009 at 11:35 am

  50. National English-language media in Canada *never* cover anything related to the June 24 festivities in Quebec. (Unless there is a riot I suppose.) Which explains why a majority of people in the ROC aren’t even aware of its significance in Quebec. They just have no idea that there is this fête on June 24 that overshadows Canada Day one week later.

    Of course, all Anglo-Quebecers would know about St-Jean-Baptiste because they get the day off.


    June 19, 2009 at 10:03 am

  51. “National English-language media in Canada *never* cover anything related to the June 24 festivities in Quebec.”

    and your point is…..
    that tva – tqs – src are all over the celebrations in canada for:
    Simcoe Day
    St. George’s Day
    Orangemen’s Day
    Discovery Day
    Remembrance Day
    Natal Day
    Memorial Day
    Family Day

    these attempts at comparison are odious – non?


    June 19, 2009 at 9:43 pm

  52. Bonne fete St-Jean Raciste la gang ! This is a continuation of Quebec cultural taboos – Anglophobia being a big one. Can you imagine if on the 4th of July the US banned the Cirque de Soleil? What kind of rednecks would propose such a thing? When the US senate renamed French fries to Freedom fries, the world rolled it eyes. And here in Quebec there is the big bugaboo about English. Should we ban it, regulate it, or just spit on it. From a ‘culture’ that claims to treasure culture so much, we really have no clue what is culture and, what is the value of art.
    The goal of art is to challenge people’s perception to open them up to new ideas, to see things in a new way. Here in Quebec we try to ban art that does not support an ideology, and that ideology is separatism. For example, the Nazis used art as an ideological tool also for its own fanatical ends.
    Sir Paul McCartney cannot come to Quebec City without a bugaboo about performing on the sacred Plaines. We cannot do a battle re-enactment because no amount of revisionist history can cover up that the battle was lost. English-speaking bands create a bugaboo about performing on sacred St-Jean. There are so many bugaboos, taboos, and sacred grounds in Quebec that art here has become predictable, well worn, and boring. Just like the debate about separatism, it’s become sterile, dead, lifeless. This is not art or culture – folks, we are looking at fossils.
    Here is Quebec there is an abundance of rednecks who come out of the wood work to proclaim the next taboo. What separatists know is that Quebec’s melting pot isn’t melting. Who wants to become a taboo-filled redneck?
    I mean, if Quebec is really so open, so much more so than an English-speaking citizen, as so many Francophones attest, how come I have never come across a Quebecer who can say 1,2,3, yes, no, hello, goodbye, red, blue, green in any Native Indian language. I point this out because many of Quebec’s taboos are based being here first. Or some imaginary right due to some injustice of history. How come no Native Indian language is an official language of Quebec? You know, out of solidarity?
    But rednecks only have solidarity for each other, of the same clan. In Quebec, this is the French-speaking clan. How will Quebec minorities ever fit it into such rigid ideology?
    Happy St-Jean Raciste, AFG…


    June 18, 2009 at 1:00 am

  53. You forgot the language police arrestations,the concentration camps , those who speak that language we don’t understand in front of us( to speak french is a violation of humains rights because english is the language of humanity) the deportation of westmounters, the nazi parade with blue flags, the destruction of anglos books, library and schools, and the danger to be kill if you speak english in Montreal. Quand on en mets trop, avec trop de hargne et sans nuances, on perd toute credibilite.


    June 18, 2009 at 1:48 am

  54. Maintenent que la majorite, souverainiste comme federalistes, a fait savoir son mecontentement face a l’exclusion de ces groupes de la fete nationale et qu’on les a reintegres, beaucoup de gens qui cherchent a faire passer les francophones pour des racistes semblent decus du happy ending, a tel point qu’ils ont decides de faire comme si rien n’avait ete fait pour les garder dans la programmation. CA permets d’accuser les quebecois francophones d’ethnocentrisme.


    June 18, 2009 at 2:03 am

  55. Il faudrait peut-être penser à ne pas trop généralisé. Je pense que pas mal tous les journaux ont rapporté les faits tels qu’ils étaient, autant lorsque le “problème” a été exposé que lorsqu’il s’est réglé. On est tous conscient que ce ne sont pas que les gens à tendance fédéralistes qui ont réglé le problème, mais que la grande majorité des gens qui appuient la souveraineté ont aussi parlé.

    Les seuls qui y vont de généralisations abusives afin de renvoyer le blâme sur l’une ou l’autre des deux solitudes (du moins sus ces pages), ce sont AFG, The Gazette et James. Reconnaître l’existence des Ultra-Nationalistes déconnectés, ce n’est pas accuser tous les souverainistes de racisme.


    June 18, 2009 at 9:40 pm

  56. … et j’ajouterais que le fait de reconnaître l’existence, au Québec, d’Ultra-Nationalistes-déconnectés-et-imbéciles-consommés, ce n’est pas de l’auto-flagellation.


    June 18, 2009 at 9:48 pm

  57. “You’re blaming The Gazette for it… yet […] your tactics are very similar.”


    The Gazette is a newspaper, not a blog. It’s not suppose to use similar tactics and draw, for example, a parallel between Louise Harel and Mom Boucher. Questioning its journalistic integrity is within reason.

    Pure Laine

    June 18, 2009 at 5:20 am

  58. I’ll grant you that The Gazette has a greater responsibility towards its public. Nonetheless, this does not excuse the fact that these tactics should not be used if we want to have a constructive dialog.


    June 18, 2009 at 9:23 pm

  59. In case you’ve missed it, Foglia makes some very good points regarding the whole situation :

    « Je suis content pour autre chose aussi. La vitesse à laquelle ça s’est réglé. Sans doute que cela a quelque chose à voir avec la vitesse et la vigueur avec lesquelles vous avez réagi. Mais en même temps, ce règlement ultrarapide en après-midi d’une situation encore très délicate le matin même, cet heureux règlement ne vous dit-il pas que, un: vous vous inquiétez peut-être pour rien, et deux: encore une fois vous y êtes peut-être allé un peu fort dans l’autoflagellation?

    Vous, oui. Je ne vous ai jamais suivi dans cette cabale contre vous-même. Dans cette chasse aux morons nationaleux que vous semblez croire plus nombreux au Québec que partout ailleurs sur la planète. Dans cette honte que vous faites ponctuellement rejaillir sur vous avec une délectation suspecte et avec cette obstination des vieilles putes qui se couvrent de boue avec l’air de croire qu’elles seront plus belles après, quand les croûtes seront tombées. J’ai chaque fois envie de vous dire de laisser tomber, le B’nai Brith fait cette job-là mieux que vous ne la ferez jamais.

    Ce que vous dites sur la nation, dans ces occasions-là, me désole chaque fois. Dans votre bouche, nation et plus encore nationalisme, sont devenus des mots détestables. Vous confondez tout, nation-nationalisme-nationaleux. Le nationalisme canadien, pourtant le plus bêtement cocardier de l’univers, vous sied. Alors que le nationalisme québécois, oh là là quelle horreur.

    Un imbécile ou un petit groupe d’imbéciles exclut deux formations de la fête nationale du Québec parce qu’elles s’exécuteraient en anglais et dans l’instant vous protestez. Bravo. Parfait. Très sain. Mais dans le même instant vous vous grattez votre âme québécoise au sang, et ça, c’est malade. Ce mépris de vous-même, du moins envers une partie de vous-même, ce mépris est pervers, maso.

    Je vous le dis en pleine face, vous êtes des fuckés de la nation. Même si vous ne les avez pas lus, vous êtes empoisonnés par ce que Trudeau, Mordecai Richler, Esther Delisle, Nadia Khouri ont dit du nationalisme québécois et du nationalisme en général. Allez relire plutôt ce qu’en disent Hannah Arendt ou Fernand Dumont.»


    June 18, 2009 at 8:55 am

  60. a thing of sublime beauty which fits Vinster like a glove.


    June 18, 2009 at 1:15 pm

  61. Now I’m hurt. *sad frown*

    But anyways, you just proved that you actually can’t read properly :

    “UN IMBÉCILE ou UN PETIT GROUPE D’IMBÉCILES exclut deux formations de la fête nationale du Québec parce qu’elles s’exécuteraient en anglais et dans l’instant vous protestez.”

    Look at the words that are capitalized. Yes, I’m talking about those big letters that hurt your eyes when you look too intensely without squinting. Now, grasp the meaning, and realize that this is exactly what I’ve been saying for weeks.

    Please, stop discrediting yourself. You make it too easy.


    June 18, 2009 at 9:28 pm

  62. No, it’s just that I read the *whole thing*, and it fits you like a glove, in particular the three paragraphs preceding the one you quote. It actually captures perfectly the beat you work here at, that of a sanctimonious self-appointed cop of PC to the nationalist movement. And this is you too, this is spot-on:

    Dans tout le Canada et à Montréal même, des militants anglophones – petits cousins des susnommés – confondent délibérément, scandaleusement, à longueur d’année, nationalisme québécois et national-socialisme et ça ne vous dérange pas trop.

    As indeed they do on this blog with regularity. But when has that ever put your nose out of joint? No, Foglia’s got your number. He’s typed you perfectly. Maybe he’s too quick though to dismiss the preoccupations of the sponsor and accord all the moral high place to the producers:

    (what, another thing from Vigile? I know, scandale!…)

    Maybe you really think that if you could just clean up the “rabble” and “vulgaires” among francophone nationalists, and finish your twattish, overweening little cop job on the the “minority of idiots” that the lion’s share of the work is done. Yeah, all that leaves Vinster is the 80+% of English Canadians who just want to keep the Québécois in their place, and who’ve never heard of C4 or Falardeau or Michel Brûlé. But if we can just clam these people up who are “idiots” for no other reason than disagreeing with you, the floodgates of constitutional progress will open in Canada. And if you believe that, you’re either a mental defective, need to moderate your drinking, need to get out more, or all of the above.


    June 18, 2009 at 10:22 pm

  63. @ James

    You know me so well. We’re like brothers! :P
    * hugs *


    June 18, 2009 at 10:31 pm

  64. Au Québec, les groupes musicaux qui remportent le plus de succès – Simple Plan, Lost Fingers, Pascale Picard, pour ne nommer que ceux-là – chantent en anglais, bien qu’ils soient composés majoritairement de francophones. Ils sont devenus la coqueluche des animateurs de la radio et de la télévision francophones et, dans ces circonstances, on ne devrait pas s’étonner que le milieu médiatique les voie sur la scène de la Fête nationale chantant en anglais.

    Tout comme on ne devrait pas se surprendre que les milieux anglophones de Montréal aient saisi au bond la mini-crise provoquée par la décision d’interdire la présence de groupes chantant en anglais, à une célébration de la Fête nationale dans le quartier Rosemont, pour avancer la pièce du bilinguisme sur l’échiquier de la bataille linguistique.

    Avec la vitesse de l’éclair, The Gazette et des porte-parole comme Jack Jedwab, vite relayés par le justicier Boisvert et le mercenaire Lagacé de La Presse, se sont mis à traiter de xénophobes, racistes et fascistes les responsables de cette décision et ceux qui les appuyaient.

    Pendant que les souverainistes discouraient sur le « bon usage des crises », dans la foulée des déclarations de M. Parizeau, les fédéralistes montraient leur savoir-faire et leur maîtrise de « la stratégie du choc », telle que si bien décrite par Naomi Klein.

    Penauds, naïfs ou niais – on vous laisse les départager – les leaders souverainistes ont salué cette nouvelle victoire contre « l’exclusion », au grand plaisir des éditorialistes de The Gazette et de La Presse qui ont applaudi leur « ouverture » et leur « modernité ».

    Les anglos scorent, les francos applaudissent

    Comment se fait-il que les leaders souverainistes scorent ainsi continuellement dans leurs propres buts, alors que les allophones [sictirent toujours au filet adverse? Par exemple, quand il s’est agi de trouver un nouvel instructeur pour le Canadien, la presse anglophone déclarait que sa connaissance du français n’était pas un critère, seule la compétence comptait.

    Cependant, lorsque Louise Harel a annoncé sa candidature à la mairie de Montréal, le critère de la compétence ne tenait plus. Elle devait être bilingue! Son unilinguisme était un manque de respect et de politesse pour 40% de la population montréalaise, affirmait Peter Trent, l’ancien maire de Westmount.


    June 18, 2009 at 6:06 pm

  65. Here’s the rest of what you are quoting :

    “À l’origine, par exemple, la Loi 101 permettait l’affichage dans toutes les langues, sauf l’anglais parce que c’est cette langue qui constitue une menace. Aujourd’hui, encore dans le quartier chinois, on affiche en français et en chinois, dans le quartier portugais, en portugais et en français, parce que ni le chinois, ni le portugais, ni les autres langues parlées au Québec, sauf l’anglais, ne menacent le français.

    C’est la Cour suprême du Canada qui a invalidé cette disposition de la loi et a permis l’affichage en anglais. Ceux qui admettent qu’on puisse chanter en anglais lors de la Fête nationale légitiment ce jugement. Il faudrait plutôt respecter l’esprit initial de la Loi 101, c’est-à-dire permettre à des chanteurs, chanteuses et des groupes des communautés culturelles de chanter dans leur langue d’origine et inviter les groupes anglophones à chanter… en français !”

    However you wish to wrap things, and spin them in order to make them sound nice, discrimination is still discrimination. It was wrong in the 1940s and before, when it was nearly impossible for a francophone to have a promotion inside an anglo-owned company, but it is also wrong in 2009 when some people seem to think that ignoring the fact that English, as a language, exists, will somehow solve the problem.


    June 18, 2009 at 9:55 pm

  66. You know, you don’t have to post every article you read.


    June 18, 2009 at 10:51 pm

  67. @ James

    It actually is a a nice story. The biographic part, I mean. As for the rest, Dr. Castonguay might be right with his analysis. But the language “problem”, since the beginning of the 21st century, is not one that can only be explained by “political will”.


    June 18, 2009 at 11:06 pm

  68. Wow AFG, 36 comments in 24 hours ! Another brilliant barnburning blog. And when I wade through all the arch sarcasm which you are so fond of I find that you actually got the essence of this story right. It was just another scrap between sovereignists of the civic nationalism persuasion and the ethnic nationalist crowd. All of the commentary on the story, in either language, breaks along the same lines. You and the Gazette actually agree with each other.

    But your characterisation of the story as sovereignists standing up for the anglos is a bit rich. It would be more accurate to state that the politically correct sovs were embarrased by their goofy ethnicly pure cousins and rushed to avoid another black mark against their “open” and “inclusive” project. But not before the Gazette got a shot in.

    I do wonder why you get upset when the Gazette puts a bell on another ethnic nationalism story ? Everyone who reads this blog must understand that there is a deep vein of old fashioned ethnic nationalism in the sovereignty movement. Why is it a bad thing for the Gazette to point that out ? You see, AFG, the Gazette’s readers are the bad guys for that sort of french good/english bad sovereignist. Do you think Vigile posts the Gazette editorial because they agree with it ? Your exaggerated reaction reminds me a little of a remark by the late Pierre Bourgault to the effect that when some polls in the 1995 referendum in Cote St Luc voted >95% “Non” it was Anglo “racism”. But Bourgault specialized in looking at Quebec society through the wrong end of the telescope. Please be careful AFG, and put the small end up to your eye. But hey – I love it when you kick Anglo butt even when the colonialist dogs don’t deserve it. Really, I do. You are way more fun than those humourless people who inhabit blogs like Vigile. I’ll be back for more.


    June 18, 2009 at 5:04 pm

  69. You know, this “ethnic nationalism” thing is one of my pet peeves when it comes to discussing Quebec nationalism. What people generally call “ethnic nationalism” in this context is almost invariably nothing of the sort. In this case, for instance, those calling for removing the anglophone bands from the show objected to them *performing* in English; I seriously doubt they cared at all about their ethnic origin. If anything the complaints would have been considerably more vehement if the two bands in question had been composed of francophones singing in English.

    And I remind you that we’re talking about the most “extreme” parts of the Quebec independence movement. Actual, bona fide ethnic nationalism in Quebec is quite marginal and, like everywhere else in the world, its proponents usually wouldn’t want to be caught dead voting for left-wing parties like the PQ or the Bloc. If you want to find them, you have to look much further right on the political spectrum (i.e. the ADQ/Conservative crowd — not exactly hotbeds of separatism).

    And if we compare Quebec to other western societies, we’re not at all atypical in this respect. Just look at the UK, where the British National Party (an actual white supremacist party – the sort of thing we don’t even have here) received nearly 1 million votes and earned two seats in the European parliament. And yet you don’t see people using this as evidence that British people are backward hicks who can’t be trusted with an independent country.


    June 18, 2009 at 6:26 pm

  70. @ Fred

    “I seriously doubt they cared at all about their ethnic origin. If anything the complaints would have been considerably more vehement if the two bands in question had been composed of francophones singing in English.”

    I remember, in his last blog, AFG commenting about this issue after I ask what his opinion was. He said that one of the greatest St-Jean he’d been too was one where Jean Leloup performed, and that his first 4-5 had been in English. Now, I’ll ask this out of honest ignorance : did it cause a major problem in the newspaper the next days? The answer to this question would probably indicate if you are right with the last sentence I quoted from your answer.


    June 18, 2009 at 9:47 pm

  71. Fred, its time to broaden your definition and understanding of ethnic nationalism and face reality. Ethnic nationalism is mainstream in Quebec. It always has been and always will be. And its not simply about ethnic “origin”, its about ethnicity defined by a person’s language and culture. When commentators on the recent St Jean kerfuffle refer to Lake of Stew as “une groupe d’anglos” they are not referring to the language choice in some of their songs.

    You are mistaken if you have assumed that I think ethnic nationalism is a bad thing or that people who use the term are calling ethnic nationalists backward. It is an objective fact, not a value judgment. Its found to some degree in all states shared by two or more ethnic groups or “nations” if you prefer. Bill 101, for example, was a very positive result of ethnic nationalism. Have a look at a 2008 article by Professor Muller in Foreign Affairs and the subsequent commentary on the article. Surely you have noticed that this blog is by the Angry FRENCH guy – not just another garden variety angry guy. I would say that the AFG’s opinions are very mainstream. Backward he ain’t. Sure, some ethnic nationalists in Quebec, english and french speaking, are silly and full of irrational hatred. But contrary to ABP’s recent comment, the presence of a few nuts does not mean we hate each other. Far from it. And the nutbars are a constant source of comic relief. The whole sovereignty debate would be terminally boring without them.


    June 19, 2009 at 9:28 am

  72. Vinster:

    I don’t know the answer, and a quick Google search turned up nothing relevant. Perhaps AFG would know…?


    You can’t just change the definitions to suit your argument. The definition that almost everyone who talks about the subject (at least in newspapers, etc, I wouldn’t know about the more scholarly work on the subject) tends to define ethnic nationalism to mean nationalism based on descent from ancestors; by definition, an immigrant cannot become a member of such a nation. This is usually contrasted with civic nationalism which “is focused on cultural rather than hereditary connections between people.” [Wikipedia entry on nationalism]. The problem with your particular definition of the term is that it is completely identical to nationalism in general — every single country on earth defines itself at least by language and/or culture and/or religion, including Canada. (If not, then why does it have official languages? Isn’t hockey considered part of Canadian culture?)

    Furthermore, if you go read pretty much any document that describes Quebec nationalism as “ethnic”, you’ll see that accusations of endemic racism are never far behind. “Blood and Belonging”, by Canada’s future PM is a great example of this (he also goes on to smear Ukraine, a very classy move for someone who brags about his Russian aristocratic ancestry). Or, more simply, look up any article with the words “Quebec” and “ethnic nationalism” in English Canadian media.

    Given that, going around repeating the smear that ethnic nationalism is widespread in Quebec and then, when asked to explain, softening the blow by redefining the term is not exactly intellectually honest. It’s a bit like calling someone a nazi and then qualifying it by pointing out that it’s merely a contraction of “national-socialism” — and after all, what’s so bad about a “national” version of socialism?


    June 19, 2009 at 11:59 pm

  73. La Gazette me donne des gazzzzzzzzzzzzzz..


    June 18, 2009 at 9:36 pm

  74. Stop eating it then.


    June 18, 2009 at 9:43 pm

  75. Fred, re your 1 minute to midnight missive, I see you are stubbornly defending your belief that no one must use the term “ethnic nationalism” because it immediately leads to accusations of racism. That is not my personal experience. Perhaps that is the difference between us. I do not rely on newspapers and that junkyard, Wikepedia, to inform me on how to define nationalism. As you say, you don’t know about the more scholarly work. But if you must rely on newspapers you should read The Gazette now and then and you will find they share my view of ethnic nationalism. I don’t find it leads to accusations of racism because The Gazette and Iggy, unlike the late Bourgault, both understand that racism is about race. And the last time I checked Anglo and Franco Quebecois are of the same race.


    June 21, 2009 at 1:16 pm

  76. My point was solely about references to ethnic nationalism in mainstream political discourse (i.e. newspapers, etc). Hence, the relevant definition is the one that is in use there. I think you’ll find that most people would give you the same definition as Wikipedia if you were to ask them to define “ethnic nationalism”. And you can’t possibly ignore how negatively connoted that term is. I mean just type, say, “ethnic civic nationalism” or any other newspaper of your choice in google and see how many *positive* mentions of ethnic nationalism you see…

    Now, if you insist on using your definition, can you please tell me a specific example of nationalism that isn’t ethnic? Canadian nationalism certainly wouldn’t work, since Canada explicitly promotes English and French as official languages and all public services are only available in those languages. Not to mention hockey as a “national sport” and other cultural features common to Canadian nationalism.

    And sure, “racism” was perhaps not right term, but I don’t know of a word X such that X is to ethnicity as racism is to race. Since X is morally equivalent to racism, I don’t think confusing the two is a huge problem.


    June 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm

  77. Not my fight but looking at the situation from outside.

    Fundamental issue which I am sure all you will deny…Francos and anglos don’t like each other very much..Language, politics …all this other crap is just a ruse to vent their inherent dislike for each other, for a number of fabricated reasons.

    Is this not obvious….from the commentary on this and other blogs.

    Enough already…Quebec should be a separate country and these arguments would be over (then we could have a real battle..where the gloves can be removed rather than the current model of political correctness) Montreal can be partitioned (those parts that want to be). After all , even anglos have some rights!

    For me, I will be celebrating July 1st, for many of you, pack up the moving vans and leave your old mattresses and couches on the street. Others will pick up and discard what you have abandoned.

    Happy St. Jeans ou Fete Nationale (ironic)

    Be sure to show up for work the next day :)


    June 18, 2009 at 10:42 pm

  78. I like your style ABP. I actually hope Quebec will separate just so that I can have the perverse and very selfish pleasure of coming back to Montreal and conducting myself in French—as I’ve always done—just to see how I’m treated. I would hope after independence—and the inevitable withering of English and anglophone community—the Quebecois would say “okay, fine, we got what we wanted. Now we can finally treat newcomers decently who speak French and don’t want to send their kids to English schools [there won’t be any].” But, if I’m still treated with the same old rude, standoffish, humourless, highly-strung Montreal attitude then I’ll know the problem was not the politics but the people.

    Tony Ronto

    June 19, 2009 at 2:42 pm

  79. tony de hog’s hollow,

    perverse and selfish is a appropos. your words (even if they are somewhat facetious) are borne of fatigue and ennui. it is disappointing. for more than thirty years this political question has been a constant source of malaise in our nation, even more so in our nation within a nation – quebec.

    at the very moment when my political opponents are in disarray – flailing about en colere – divided by petty differences without a leader; you propose a wish to give up on an idea that has been in the making for 8 times longer than the period since that immense dickhead de gaulle uttered his ill-considered phrases. yes, vive le quebec libre.

    i hope to see the day when quebec is free of this tortured romantic drivel and we get on with building a society where what you actually accomplish counts for more than what side of the political fence you stand on or whether your “dues are paid up”. if the next ten years is anything like the last five – we’ll be able to move on to a future without the possibilty of your ignorant remark. unlike you – i don’t need the prospect of secession to know where the problems lie.

    ignorance and emotion are the enemy – not the people of quebec; unfortunately, it just so happens that a very vocal and the very loudest minority get more press and attention than they deserve. in short, these individuals are idiots of galactic proportion.

    has anyone mentioned to you recently that toronto has a shit hockey team? :-)


    June 19, 2009 at 8:48 pm

  80. “has anyone mentioned to you recently that toronto has a shit hockey team?”

    Meme chose pour Montreal!


    June 20, 2009 at 12:38 am

  81. abp,
    lord tunderrin jaysus, how dare you mention the holy grail!


    June 20, 2009 at 9:03 am

  82. I tip my hat to the francophones like Lepage and many many other who said they should play. 40 mins of music partially in english isn`t a big deal in my mind but boy did the press have a field day. no mention of the sitar players in Villeray but that`s a whole other story

    What I found strangely absent was any mention of the fact that anglos go to local Saint Jean celebrations on June 23rd all over the island of Montreal and have been for a long time. For christ’s sake we even have a St-Jean Celebration in Westmount so treating this as some novel thing that anglos get involved in the St-Jean is just crap.

    The only thing I found embarrassing was how little french the guy from one of the bands spoke – I mean come on! I didn’t grow up on the West Island so the anglos I know are all very bilingual, married to francophone etc.

    S. Church

    June 20, 2009 at 3:53 pm

  83. That’s not been my experience.

    Anglos celebrating St Jean Baptiste is like Indians celebrating Columbus Day.


    June 21, 2009 at 12:07 am

  84. Whats wrong with getting drunk and partying. Provides an excuse to do so for all. :)


    June 21, 2009 at 2:15 pm

  85. I think a more historically correct analogy would be French Canadians celebrating Victoria Day.


    June 21, 2009 at 3:57 pm

  86. Pour Quois Pas, ACJ…another excuse for a party and a day off!

    Of course on Canada day, in Quebec, many people move on. Very interesting! All those couches and beds deposited on the streets. What memories must be discarded on this day :)


    June 21, 2009 at 6:26 pm

  87. There’s an interesting item written about the first SJBD event *ever* held in Westmount, which was only 10 years ago. Took Westmount only 165 years then to join the party. (And to think people accuse WM of being refractory to the French fact…) Most of the initial turnout for it was described as rubberneckers who couldn’t believe it and it apparently had about the novelty value of a UFO landing:

    The event apparently symbolizes the “changing face of the city”, i.e. the fact that Westmount’s *more francophone* now (over 20% I think) which would explain where the impetus came for it in the first place. It’s sponsored by the same organization which sponsors and coordinates Fête Nationale events elsewhere in Montreal and the province, the Mouvement National des Québécois:


    June 21, 2009 at 9:36 pm

  88. ”The only thing I found embarrassing was how little french the guy from one of the bands spoke – I mean come on! I didn’t grow up on the West Island so the anglos I know are all very bilingual, married to francophone etc.”

    I`ve heard conflicting reports on this. On the one hand I heard in the media (francophone) that the band members happen to be anglo but speak French with typical Quebec accents. Whereas another report I heard (also from francophone media) said the guy could barely speak French to save his life.

    Never actually heard an interview with any of the band members though.


    June 21, 2009 at 7:41 pm

  89. The guy I heard on th radio was pathetically bad – my Ontario boen mother speaks better french and she didn’t learn french until in her 20s.


    June 21, 2009 at 10:15 pm

  90. JOL,

    Je sais que le penguins avoir la “holy grail” cette anee. C’est possible que les canadienes sera etre le gagner de le coup a la prochaine an, avec le nouvelle chef. Who knows with hockey. I hope they do better as they certainly seemed to struggle this past year.

    bon weekend,


    June 20, 2009 at 8:15 pm

  91. First off, as someone not from here I find this festival offensive at best. It is a celebration of racial purity because it is simply not about francophone culture only, it is about those from France, the Quebeboic of French origin and this is a racial issue. (I use the word racial to stand in for ethnic if you will since since Darwin we know that race amongst humans is a fiction.) Additionally, there is a huge lack of understanding this situation in its entireity. People write here of the Gazette being biased, but objectively speaking I find that paper tries to tiptoe around any coherent discussion of this issue since before and after the band issue came up, the anglophone community has experienced what it feels to be discrimination; yet very little is mentioned in the media about this. As someone who saw the events of Clichy S Bois unfold a few years back, I can only say that such resentment for the dominant culture will not end well for the ruling francophones. The fact is that most every immigrant and non-francophone, not to mention the younger generations of francophones here, are not included by this festival and find its very core repugnant to their humanity. And as an outsider to this culture, I can only agree with them.

    Quebec needs to enter the 21st century, realize that the French are no longer oppressed and try to understand that there is a larg community that would rather have the 24th of June as a day of coming together and being pushed (as usual) apart. It seems clear to me that this festival needs to be put on a shelf and a newer kind of festival to celebrate Quebec’s diversity to include the indigenous and gypsy populations, to include the English and French, as well as the immigrants from all over the world. The way forward in this world is to create dialogue not rifts and from all I am reading here is reflective of a culture of blaming everything on a history that is not immediately relevant.


    June 23, 2009 at 12:19 am

  92. Obviously written by someone who has never seen a modern-day St-Jean-Baptiste celebration in his entire life…


    June 23, 2009 at 8:10 am

  93. Nice !

    Artists from L’Autre St-Jean speak.


    June 25, 2009 at 1:04 am

  94. My name is Kathy Bernet and I never received my March issue of Light Spinner. Can you check to see if it’s been mealid out? My home address is 707 E. Spring Drive, Ozark, MO 65721


    December 30, 2013 at 5:31 am

  95. Thanks for finally talking about >Québec Separatists Save St.Jean Baptist Show From Ultra-Nationalists | AngryFrenchGuy <Loved it!

    tout pour la fete

    April 25, 2015 at 5:18 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 160 other followers

%d bloggers like this: