The celebrations in six cities on June 24 will cost Canadian taxpayers $2.4 million.
Canadian heritage minister Mélanie Joly said Quebec City is the heart of the French language in Canada. So on Friday, in the heart of Quebec City at the Musée de l’Amérique francophone, she announced that other Canadian cities will get to experience a bit of of Quebec this year.
Thanks to federal dollars, Moncton, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Whitehorse will also celebrate the major Quebec holiday.
“All of Canada should be happy and proud to be celebrating its francophone roots,” Joly said.
As part of the Canada 150 celebrations, 400 francophone and Aboriginal artists will take to the stage to celebrate Canada’s francophone culture. The idea is to recognize Quebec across Canada:
“The House of Commons has supported a motion to recognize the Quebecois and Quebecoises being a nation,” said Joly.
But if the idea appears to some as being too politicized, Joly said they should not be offended. The events will also recognize multiculturalism. It’s going to include Quebec’s anglophone minority as well, said Quebec’s Canadian relations and the Canadian francophonie minister, Jean-Marc Fournier.
“Some shows by some English-speaking people, so that is a good step,” Fournier said.
It will exclude Montrealers.
“It’s a matter of budget because we will have shows in six different cities,” said Diane Blais, Centre de la francophonie des Amériques chairperson.
Blais said they chose the cities who showed the most interest. Quebec City already holds a big show every year for Saint-Jean-Baptiste. As part of this program they’ll celebrate twice with another show.