By David F. Rooney
Revelstoke is about to acquire a decidedly French flavour this weekend as the Arts Council (RAC) holds its very first Francophone festival — Le Rendezvous.
“This is very much a ‘taster’ this year to see what people enjoy and what else we need to consider for future years,” Garry Pendergast, the RAC’s executive director, said in an interview.
The festival includes events at local schools and the Performing Arts Centre and to a certain extent recognizes one of the ongoing demographic shifts occurring in the community — the evolution of a Francophone community. French-speaking Revelstokians have many events her such as dinners featuring French-Canadian foods and the annual sugaring off event each spring. There is a social organization, Groupe Culturel Francophone de Revelstoke, the French Quarter radio program on Stoke FM every Sunday evening and a steadily growing French-language school —l’école des Glaciers. There are, too, very successful Francophone-owned businesses such as La Baguette and Le Marche and the indubitable fact that spoken French is very common in what some non-residents might assume in a unilingual, English-only BC community.
“If we can build this into something worthwhile we can organize this indefinitely,” Pendergst said, adding that this kind of event can, if it is successful, quickly attract cultural funding from Heritage Canada who contacted Pendergast and told him “we’re really keen on this and hope you’ll apply for funding next year.” That’s a very encouraging sign so let’s all hope this “taste of French culture” is successful.
Here’s a quick rundown on the performers who will enliven our community starting this Friday, June 10, followed by the schedule of events:
Since 2005, musicians Suzanne Leclerc and Bryn Wilkins have delighted audiences as Vazzy. Long-time residents of BC their repertoire consists of beautiful ballads and lively humorous songs from the French-Canadian tradition, as well as toe-tapping fiddle and dance tunes from the French, Celtic, Metis and Canadian musical traditions. Please click here to visit their website.
Click on the YouTube player below to watch them on a video:
Then there is Alouest. This progressive folk band originally from Mallardville, BC, consists of Denis Leclerc, Daniel Legal, Michel Legal and Roger Grimard. Please click here to visit their Facebook page. You can also click here to go to their website.
Please activate the YouTube player below to watch one of their videos:
Martin Varallo has been a performer, comedian and teacher for over 20 years. Most recently he has performed his solo act, 15 – Love, with Cirque Du Soleil. As a teacher he is currently giving masterclasses world wide and will be holding week long residencies at FLiP circus school in Quebec.
Please activate the YouTube player below to watch one of his videos:
Will Stroet is an award-winning children’s musician. He inspires kids to be active, healthy, creative and engaged in the world through educational music in English and French. He also stars in the preschool television series Will’s Jams airing across Canada on Kids’ CBC weekday mornings.
Please click on the YouTube player below watch one of his videos:
And finally, on Sunday there are screenings of the 2015 political satire film, My Internship in Canada. Here’s how the Globe & Mail’s Barry Hertz described this film by Writer/Directot Philippe Falardeau:
“Philippe Falardeau has returned to his Quebec roots with this broad and sweet political comedy.
“Focusing on the last honest man in office – a rural independent MP (Patrick Huard) who finds himself with the deciding vote over whether the country goes to war – Falardeau wrings laughs out of all the expected corners of the Canadian political psyche. (His Stephen Harper stand-in, played by Paul Doucet, is a particular riot, right down to his cat-loving wife and penchant for piano solos.)”
Please activate the YouTube player below to watch the trailer for this French-language film:
Le Rendezvous schedule Friday, June 10, until Monday, June 13
- Schools Workshops — Vazzy and Martin Varallo
- Family entertainment at the Community Centre with Vazzy and appetizers at 7 pm – 9 pm — Tickets are $15 or Family for $30
- Vazzy and Martin Varallo playing at Farmer’s Market
- A musical workshop with Vazzy at the Performing Arts starting at 3 pm –Tickets are $10
- Saturday evening with Alouest at the Performing Arts Centre at 7:30 pm – Tickets are $10
- Will Stroet at the Performing Arts Centre at 10:30 am (first half) then Martin Varallo from 11:30 am. — Tickets are $10, $5 (family $20)
- Sunday evening 7.30 pm Film My Internship in Canada at the Performing Arts Centre at7:30 pm — Tickets are $5
- Sunday evening Film My Internship in Canada at the Performing Arts Centre –Tickets are $5
- Monday – Schools workshops — Vazzy and Will Stroet — (Family tickets for 2 adults and 2 children)