Planting Our Roots

I’m always amazed at how popular Canadian artists are abroad. It’s quite impressive to discover the number of Francophone artists that become famous in Europe and the United States. A recent headline caught my attention: "Les Français se sont approprié nos chansons” - The Cowboy Fringants. Then Monsieur Larzhar, the Oscar-nominated Canadian film directed by Philippe Falardeau, nominated in the category "Best Foreign Film", once again put the spot light on our language.

I began to think about the ability of language to travel through lyrics and movie scripts. The arts certainly do provide an extraordinary showcase for the French language.

You may say that I’m a bit egotistical, but I think that little bit of me, a little bit of my culture and even a little bit of my identity travel abroad and are part of French artists’ success. It’s as if our language, with its strong North American roots, grew wings that allowed it to travel the globe and sprinkle its pride worldwide.

But yes, I agree, beyond language, it’s the talent of local artists that is the main reason for their success. Think of the Canadian band Simple Plan or the Cirque du Soleil, although they are made-up of members of French Canadian descent, they fill stadiums and theater halls around the world without necessarily relying on or even using the French culture and language in their artistic content.

The NFB at the Oscars!

The National Film Board (NFB), proud partner of the Rendez-vous de la Francophonie, will once again be well represented at the most prestigious gala in the world. This year, two Canadians, Patrick Doyon (Sunday) and Amanda Forbis (Wildlife), are nominated for an Oscar in the “Best Animated Short” category. I discovered that the NFB has received more Oscar nominations for the most number of films than any other production company or organization outside Hollywood. The films were nominated no fewer than 72 times! Why not take a look?

If art is a reflection of society, I am happy to look through the talent of local artists who, regardless of their culture, know how to plant our roots around the world.

Philippe Daoust