MONTREAL, MARCH 23, 2012—CEGEP André Laurendeau in LaSalle (1111 Lapierre, Salle Jean-Grimaldi, porte #4) will be the site of the 2012 French for the Future Montreal Local Forum, beginning at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 4. Aimed at promoting bilingualism amongst Canadian youth, the theme is Respect, Culture and Integration Into Québécois Society. Approximately 450 students from nine Montreal high schools and three school boards will be present.
International standup comedy superstar Mike Ward, a francophone with an English name, will be one of the keynote speakers along with Just For Laughs Festival President Andy Nulman at 11 am.
Participating schools are: John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel, Westmount High School, Lauren Hill Academy in St. Laurent, from the English Montreal School Board (EMSB); Lakeside Academy in Lachine, John Rennie High School, LaSalle Comprehensive, St. Thomas and Lindsay Place from the Lester B. Pearson School Board; and Howard S. Billings High School will attend from the New Frontiers School Board.
Ward is not just a French Comedy Superstar, he’s a French comedy legend. He’s won multiple awards (Gemini, Victor, Olivier), produced two platinum-selling DVDs and was ranked among the Top 25 French Comedians of All Time by the Festival Juste Pour Rire. Internationally, he is ranked in the Top 10 Funniest Comedians by The-Top-Tens.com, and has more hits on his website, Mikeward.ca, than any other Québécois performer, more than Celine Dion, Simple Plan, even more than internet sensation Jon Lajoie. Ward has been headlining in French since the mid-1990s, but is still fairly new to the world of English comedy. In fact he’s just been doing it since 2007.
With an Anglophone father and a francophone mother, Ward considers himself “Pierre Trudeau’s dream.” He attended English public school in the Quebec City area.
The program will begin with some words of welcome from an Anglophone student who chose to attend the French CEGEP André Laurendeau followed by some Québécois musicians, Ward and Nulman and a hip hop presentation from the Francophone hip hop dance group GuettoNest from the Vise Haut dance school. In the afternoon there will be an interactive quiz on Canadian and Quebec culture followed by La Ligue d’improvisation de Montréal performing one of their interactive, entertaining shows.
The wide variety of programs allowing students to be immersed in the French language over the course of an entire day will undoubtedly allow them to feel proud of being bilingual, but it will strengthen their connection to the Quebecois culture that surrounds them on a daily basis. For more details log on to www.french-future.org.