|ANNUAL FRENCH FOR THE FUTURE FORUM SET FOR UQÀM|
MONTREAL, APRIL 15, 2014 — The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM) Salle Marie-Gérin-Lajoie (405 Ste. Catherine Street East, corner of St. Denis) will be the site for the 2014 French for the Future Montreal Local Forum on Wednesday, April 16 (9 a.m.). Aimed at promoting bilingualism amongst Canadian youth, the theme is Respect, Culture and Integration Into Québécois Society. Approximately 550 students from 13 Montreal high schools and four school boards will be present.
Participating schools are: Westmount High School, John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel and Marymount Academy International in NDG from the English Montreal School Board (EMSB); Lakeside Academy in Lachine, John Rennie High School in Pointe Claire, Riverdale High School in Pierrefonds, St. Thomas High School in Pointe Claire, Westwood High School Senior in St. Lazare, LaSalle Community Comprehensive and Lindsay Place in Pointe Claire from the Lester B. Pearson School Board; Howard S. Billings High School in Chateauguay will attend from the New Frontiers School Board; and new to the forum this year is Chambly Academy from the Riverside School Board.
Charismatic Montreal producer and break dancer, Pierre-Michel Jean-Louis, will serve as master of ceremonies. Montreal’s two English language morning show weather forecasters, both Francophones, will share their career paths with the students. Jessica Laventure from the Morning News on Global TV and Catherine Verdon-Diamond from City’s Breakfast Television are the epitome of “charisma.” They light up the TV screen each morning. Laventure also does live remote reports on location and files special stories about animal adoption clinics. Verdon-Diamond also broadcasts traffic updates. There will be a live broadcast from UQAM the morning of the forum.
Québécois rapper and street artist, MONK. E will inspire the youth with his story and powerful trilingual lyrics. This will be followed by some open microphone time for the participating students to rap in French! Other activities will include an interactive quiz on Canadian and Quebec culture, performances from the winners of the Lester B. Pearson School Board SLAM contest, a francophone youth hip hop dance group, a presentation from students at CEGEP André Laurendeau in LaSalle who are an important partner of the Forum, and with the grande finale being a presentation by the always entertaining Ligue D’improvisation Montréalaise.
The event will conclude with some exciting prizes presented by local sponsors HMV, Renaud Bray and Bureau en Gros, longstanding partners of the event. 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 Québécois culture that surrounds them on a daily basis. For more details log on to www.french-future.org.
Michael J. Cohen