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Celebrate French culture in Canada

Celebrate French culture in Canada
11 Feb 2014

Despite its ties to the USA, there are some 9.5m French speakers living in Canada, accounting for almost a third of the total population. 

Not only that, but several of the major cities in the east of the country have a distinctly European feel and are nothing like the grid-iron skyscraper-filled metropolises south of the border. 

In many ways, therefore, a trip to the province of Quebec is more akin to a visit to France than North America. And what better way to experience this Euro culture than at one of many French-Canadian festivals that take place throughout the year? 

Here's a few key dates for the diary: 

May - Cinergie

On the first weekend in May, the city of Saskatoon hosts Cinergie - a four-day showcase of more than 35 subtitled French films, accompanied by bilingual discussions and engaging soirees.

June - Festival Franco Ontarien

Between 12 and 14 June, Major's Hill Park, in Canada's capital city, Ottawa, will be the scene of jubilant celebrations of all things French. Expect lots of music and food. 

July - La Grande Summertime Celebration

One month later, the more typically North American city of Toronto takes it turn to savour French culture. Running from the 4 to 6 July will be a packed programme of events, including major music acts. 

August - Festival Acadian de Clare

Nova Scotia's Festival Acadian de Clare takes place from 26 July 26 to 3 August (plus 15 August) and features lively music and theatre performances leading up to thousands of raucous Acadians - descendants of the 17th-century French colonists who settled in Acadia - showing immense pride in their heritage at the finale's tintamarre (noise parade).

November - Festival du Vent

Acknowledging both Francophone culture and the region's autumn winds, Newfoundland and Labrador's Festival du Vent (Wind Festival) brings together wine, cheese, cinema and music alongside circus acts and kite flying on the scenic Avalon Peninsula. C'est magnifique. ADNFCR-408-ID-801692188-ADNFCR

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