Ottawa’s biggest Francophone festival returns later this week with a grand parade, dancers, musicians and other artists in celebration of Francophone arts and culture.
Kicking off Thursday and running through Saturday at the Marion Dewar Plaza, the 35th annual Festival franco-ontarien features performances by Juno award-winning Toronto singer Andrea Lindsay, Quebec icon Robert Charlebois and internationally known Caribbean group Compagnie Créole.
Other artists include Ottawa’s Louis-Philippe Robillard and Pat Groulx, Quebec’s Ariane Moffatt, St-Albert’s Mélissa Ouimet and Louisiana’s Zachary Richard.
Starting at 5 p.m. on Saturday, the tribal-themed Grand Franco-Ontarien parade, inspired by the world’s most famous carnivals and featuring costumes, walking decorations and lively music, begins at Laurier and Cumberland streets and proceeds through the ByWard Market before returning to the festival site.
The drummers of Transe Express perform while suspended more than 200 feet in the air on Thursday and Saturday; dancers perform the South African gumboot Thursday and African drummers recreate the war dances of Burundi on Friday. Dancers perform the traditional Argentinian Las boleadoras on Friday and Saturday.
“The Francophones and Francophiles of the Ottawa region will once again have the opportunity to come together in a shared celebration of the arts,” said Ottawa-Orleans MP Royal Galipeau.
On Monday, the federal government announced $140,000 in funding for the festival this year and next through the Canada Arts Presentation Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage.
This program gives Canadians increased access to the variety and richness of Canada’s culture through professional arts festivals, presentations of live professional performances, and other artistic experiences.
The government has also provided $100,000 in funding to the festival to foster the development of Canada’s minority communities.