The Myth of Culture
Thoughts on Quebec and all the rest
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois
He captured our imagination. I became an ardent nationalist because of him. Please remember this: I am an anglo-Quebecker. I was raised in English by franco-Ontarians. Our disconnection from francophone Québec was so complete that my father - the only man I have ever met who was completely bilingual - insisted on a French day each week so that we would not be stereotypical Quebec City anglos (a place where the biggest employer of my school-friends' fathers was called - I kid you not - Anglo Pulp and Paper). It was when my mother died and my father remarried a Québécoise that we began to speak and live French in the house. When I was 14 we began to go to French theatre often. I read a French-language paper. We watched French-language TV and laughed together at the practical jokers on French-language radio. With the arrival of the soldiers in our streets during the October Crisis (and my dad was one of those soldiers) we were also part of a massive upheaval that also gave us the explosion of the career of Michel Tremblay - the playwright laureate of Quebec.
Some companies are trying desperately to turn policies toward a new generation of spectators but they are having very mitigated results. It's hard to draw, for instance, a new audience to a spiffy production of Wagner if the ticket price is through the roof.
...more hard questions for the 21st Century.