The Festival de la Francophonie in Chicago took place throughout the month of March and included 14 programs organized by close to a dozen francophone partners. Québec’s presence was rich and diverse this year and the Québec Government Office (DQC) participated in five programs which were collectively attended by over 500 people. The sold-out Soirée Commune was held on March 8 at the Alliance Française de Chicago and featured culinary treats and libations from each participating country along with jazz music and francophone karaoke. In the Québec/Canada room, guests enjoyed Unibroue Beer Cheese Soup and Maple-BBQ Smoked Pork Sandwiches.
An economic round table, “Words that Make Cents: Using French in Today’s Business World”, was held on March 13 at the Hilton Suites Chicago. Co-organized by the DQC and the French-American Chamber of Commerce, the discussion featured five panelists, including Québec’s Representative in the Midwest, Eric Marquis, who discussed the importance of francophonie in the American business world.
On March 14, the DQC and the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago sponsored a staged reading of Carole Frechette’s The Small Room at the Top of Stairs. The reading was presented by Vitalist Theater as part of the International Voices Project at Victory Gardens Theater.
The festival closed with two film screenings at the Alliance Française sponsored by the DQC, the Consulate General of Canada in Chicago and Western Michigan University’s Francophone Film Festival. A Midwest premiere showing of Xavier Dolan’s Laurence Anyways was held on March 21 and Yves Sioui Durand’s Mesnak was shown on March 23. Mr. Sioui Durand was in Chicago to introduce his film and answer questions following the screening.
The DQC takes part in Chicago’s Festival de la Francophonie every year and it’s an important way to highlight Québec’s place in the francophone world and collaborate with the many French-speaking consulates, government offices and communities in the city.