In July, several festivals from Whitehorse to Dawson City will have a French contribution.

From July 11 to 13, the Atlin Music Festival will be in full swing with an impressive program of bands coming from all over Canada: Random Order, the McDades and Ssasi a West African musician concerned about ecology in Africa.

From Montréal, there will be Ray Bonneville and Genticorum.

Genticorum is a well-known Québec-based band specializing in folk and traditional music.

Founded in 2000, the band has so far released three albums including its latest, La Bibournoise.

Genticorum remains faithful to its Québec origins by mixing acoustic music, folk and traditional songs. I interviewed Alex de Grosbois-Garand, the band’s flutist.

What’s Up: Hello Alex! First of all, could you introduce yourself and the other members of the band?

de Grosbois-Garand: Sure! Pascal Gemme is the music director, singer and violinist. Yann Falquet is the singer, Jew’s harp player and is also the band’s deadpan. I am Alexandre de Grosbois-Garand, I play the flute and I am the accountant as well. We all are from Montréal and surroundings.

What’s Up: How did the band start?

de Grosbois-Garand: We met in France during a festival. We really enjoyed jamming all together during the event. We have always had very interesting contracts. In 2004, we toured Canada for the first time. From then on forth, we have travelled over the globe thanks to traditional music: Europe, Mexico and some culturally interesting places such as Israel and Malaysia. Last March, we had a lot of fun touring Australia.

What’s Up: It’s not the first time you came here. How do you get ready for your second stay in Northwestern Canada?

de Grosbois-Garand: You’re right. We performed during the Frostbite Festival a few years ago and we met very interesting people including very talented francophone and English-speaking musicians. I was told that the Yukon had the highest number of musicians per capita. We really enjoyed our experience and are more than happy to be back in your area.

What’s Up: Will you perform new songs during the festival?

de Grosbois-Garand: What you will hear during the festival is pretty new considering that we just released our last album. We will mostly play songs from La Bibournoise and some songs you can listen to from the other albums.

What’s Up: Thank you Alex.

de Grosbois-Garand: You’re welcome!

Virginie Hamel will be reporting on how the culture and fun of the Yukon’s French community is shared with all. Contact her at virginielhamel@gmail.com.

Virginie Hamel is a regular contributor to What’s Up Yukon who keeps tab on events in Yukon’s francophone community.