Celebrate French culture at Harbourfront’s Franco-Fête

Every June, thousands of Francophones and Francophiles gather at Harbourfront Centre to celebrate Franco-fête, Toronto’s premiere event celebrating French culture.

From its origins as a mini St.-Jean-Baptiste festival 27 years ago, Franco-fête has evolved into a diverse, multi-ethnic celebration of francophone culture. This year’s event will feature art, dance, culinary creations and, most of all, “musique francophone”.

Among the numerous artists and bands scheduled to perform at this year’s festival are Kaïn, one of Québec’s most popular bands; C’est arrivé à Saint-Utopie, traditional storytelling by improvisor, comedian and author Stéphane Guertin; Alpha Rhythm Roots, a Toronto-based company that performs the music, dance, traditions, and culture of Guinea; and Amélie Lefebvre, a Toronto-based French singer-songwriter who performs old-fashioned cabaret stylings and acoustic melodies. The festival will also include music by the Collège Français de Toronto.

Family performances include Mini TFO’s “Mini Spectacle”, a performance by the hosts of Mini TFO, Dino and Marianne. The show will include projections, music and tons of fun. Arts and crafts will be featured at the Mini TFO Space and there will be several activities for children.

For lovers of French food, a cooking demonstration will be held by some of Toronto’s top chefs. Culinary wizards such as Gregory Furstoss and Thierry Schmitt will take spectators through delicious French recipes.

Franco-Fête de Toronto will conclude with “La Fête de la musique”, presented by l’Alliance française in collaboration with Franco-Fête. Launched in France on June 21, 1982 by the Ministry of Culture, La Fête de la Musique is an international event that occurs in over 100 countries on the Summer Solstice. Close to a dozen groups will perform a variety of music, including Toronto blues artist, Paul Reddick and his band, accompanied by French singer-songwriter, Philippe Flahaut.

Franco-Fête 2009 will be held from Friday, June 19 to Sunday, June 21 at Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queens Quay West. Activities will be held from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday; 12:30 p.m. to 2 a.m. on Saturday and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Admission for all events is free.

For more information, including a full schedule of events, call 416-644-1575 or visit www.franco-fete.ca.

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