Thursday, May 14, 2009

Comedy Festival Chief Irks Nationalists

Gilbert Rozon, president of the world's most important comedy festival, Montreal's 'Just For Laughs' (Juste Pour Rire) is not one to follow the crowd.
Starting with nothing, he has created a comedy brand that is showcased in 150 countries and which runs parallel comedy festivals in Toronto, Chicago and France.

Not one to keep his tongue in his pocket, he shocked nationalists, speaking before 'l'Association des économistes du Québec', when he said that's it's time to play up Montreal's multilingual nature.

"The multilingual character of Montreal should be promoted.... Let's not hide the fact that half the population is bilingual....It's 2009, time to stop talking about what happened in 1760."

Ce caractère multilingue de Montréal, il faut le mettre en valeur. ....Faut pas cacher derrière le rideau le fait que la moitié de la population est bilingue..... on est en 2009. Faut arrêter de parler de ce qui s'est passé en 1760! »

Them's fighting and treasonous words to nationalists.
While many Quebeckers enjoy being bilingual and love the concept of speaking another language, there's few francophones willing to say it out loud.

Perhaps the lofty position and success he has earned has afforded Mr. Rozon the luxury to say exactly what he feels without regard to the critics.

Always in search of an issue, nationalists have already taken the bait and are hammering out long treatises in response. Now that the controversy over President Sarkozy humiliating put-down of Quebec nationalists has played itself out, the words of Mr. Rozon arrive at a precipitous time for the polemics of the pro-French/sovereignty movement.

Gilles Grondin, a Montreal city councillor wrote in Point de vue, Le Soleil, 12 mai 2009 that notwithstanding Montreal being bilingual and multicultural, it is part of the greater Quebec society and should therefore present a French only face to the world.

Lucky that Mr. Rozon has a thick skin, he'll need it. Nationalists don't take kindly to "vendus" (sellouts).
He is officially on the shit list.


  1. Mr Rozon made his money by coaxing politicians to give him millions of OUR money for his dubious projects.

    He might be right this time, but he's certainly not the right spokesperson for this.

    He has as much credibility as Plamondon...

    That being said, these nationalists are annoying everybody, I know several former independantists (like me), who cannot stand the rants of these bigots anymore. Canada is not perfect, but I am starting to think we should at least try to make this work, instead of fighting one another.

  2. Good blog. Just blogrolled you (under Au Canada).