The event may focus on the best of Francophone culture, but in its 33rd year, organizers of the area’s Franco-Ontarien Festival are urging Anglophones to come out as well.
Events like Le Festival Franco-Ontarien promote communication and understanding between the area’s French and English-speaking population, said the festival’s director of communications, Melany Gauvin.
“That’s why we should not only let English-speakers know about the festival, but invite them as well. We live together in the city. We should also party together.”
Expected to attract approximately 50,000 people, the three-day festival, which starts today at city hall’s Festival Plaza, has something for everyone — Francophones, Francophiles and Anglophones alike.
As in other years, the focus will be on music. “Even if you don’t understand the words, you can still enjoy the music and the rhythm,” Gauvin said.
Tonight’s main act features performances from around the world, including Nicola Ciccone, Andrea Lindsay and Luck Mervil.
Friday’s show is a tribute to the 400th anniversary of Quebec City, featuring singers from Quebec.
From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, children’s entertainment takes centre stage with face painting, a performance by Mini TFO and Arthur the Adventurer.
The musical highlight of the weekend is Mes Aieux, a “lively and popular show” which includes folk, rap, disco, bossa nova and French song, performing at 9:15 p.m.
Featuring professional and amateur acts, the street carnival starts at 4:30 p.m. Saturday at the University of Ottawa and makes its way through the ByWard Market, culminating at the festival site at 6 p.m.
The festival runs through Saturday.