French Toast: Crazy November

Here comes November, a month full of events for the Francophone community.

The big news is the recent accessibility of the Coup de Coeur program in the Yukon. Coup de Coeur Francophone is a network that allows more emergent and famous Francophone artists to tour around the country.

The program was born in Montréal 20 years ago. At the time, Coup de Coeur enabled these artists to perform in different areas of the Québec province. Over the past 15 years, the program has extended its activities throughout Canada, but only for the provinces.

At this step, the program enabled Francophone artists from everywhere in Canada to travel and perform between British Colombia and Prince Edward Island.

While it happened a few times in the past that some artists came on to Whitehorse at the time of a Coup de Coeur tour to Vancouver or Edmonton, the territory never had the freedom of choosing and programming the artists’ visit.

Since this fall, however, Yukon and the Northwest Territories have been official members of the Coup de Coeur program and are allowed to organize their own musical events. From now on, each November, we’ll have a visit from different big names and new names in the musical industry.

Getting the Coup de Coeur in the Yukon means more Francophone concerts up here and more occasions for audiences, students and artists in the community to have contact with more professional artists.

It also means that, culturally, the Yukon is a bit less isolated from “the ROC” (the Rest of Canada).

On the occasion of this new partnership, the first artist to come is Zachary Richard, who will perform November 8 at the Yukon Art Centre. A famed environmental and social activist, songwriter and poet from Louisiana, Richard doesn’t really need any further introduction.

With more than 20 albums in French and English, he is perceived by the artistic community as the most Francophone of American artists and, paradoxically, the most Americanized Francophone artist. He is coming up North to perform a show that is 80 per cent French.

Our second guest for the Coup de Coeur is Andrea Lindsay, who will be at the Old Fire Hall for an acoustic performance on November 29. Lindsay has recently become very popular in Quebec. Originally from Ontario, she decided to compose and sing in French after travelling in France a few years ago. Her ballads are sweet, quiet, and sometimes jazzy.

Meanwhile, the Parlement franco-canadien du Nord et de l’Ouest is happening in Whitehorse November 12 to 14. About 40 young Francophone leaders will participate in this political simulation activity during three days. This fictive parliament enables young people to learn more about our political system and to develop their oratorical capacity.

Finally, on November 12, the annual event of the Gala de la francophonie is back. The Gala de la francophonie 2010 honours important people working really hard for the development of the culture, the economy and services in the Francophone community.

The Gala is a variety show featuring sketches, storytelling and music performances by various artists of the Francophone community. The show is directed by the Francophone theatre troop Art-Lequin.

Yes, winter has almost arrived, but it’s just the beginning of the fun.

Tickets for the Zachary Richard concert are now available at the Yukon Art Centre and at Arts Underground.

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

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