Expressions of culture and identity - Ontario Heritage Trust

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Expressions of culture and identity

The story

“. . . we are witnessing an ongoing evolution in francophone Ontario that is a significant part of the province’s changing cultural, social and linguistic landscape . . . This change presents exciting opportunities, as well as new challenges, both of which will inform and enrich our understanding of the French experience in Ontario.” Thomas H.B. Symons, Chairman, Ontario Heritage Trust
“Today, a number of Franco-Ontarian artists have reached national and international audiences, and their works are the reflection of a dynamic, modern community.” Johanne Melançon, Associate Professor in the French Studies Department at Laurentian University

Who

Artists, musicians, writers and performers | creative thinkers and innovators | French-speaking Ontarians from across the world

What

An exploration of contemporary expressions of French culture and identity in Ontario

When

20th and 21st centuries

Where

Throughout Ontario

Why

Foster a legacy of cultural expression and artistic creativity within the Franco-Ontarian community | Develop an understanding of the growing diversity of the province’s francophone population

Throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, the francophone population in Ontario has expressed aspects of its culture and identity in a multitude of ways and forms. These expressions have served to strengthen our understanding of the evolving nature of the French experience in Ontario.

Artistic creations – such as music, literature, fine art, theatre and film – all serve to portray and reflect the relationship between the francophone population and the province over time. These creations can also be a way of resisting or speaking back to the dominance of English-speaking media and culture. The creation of symbols, such as the Franco-Ontarian flag, also helps to convey a distinctive culture and identity.

As Ontario’s francophone population has diversified, expressions of identity have expanded to encompass new perspectives, traditions and cultural understandings. This is resulting in a broader and more inclusive approach to how the French experience in Ontario is interpreted and portrayed to the province as a whole.