Cultural kickoff to autumn 2012 [fr]

Introduction to some of the upcoming events by Thomas Michelon, Cultural Counselor

What a way to kick off autumn! Artists, architects and urban planners, designers, directors of major museums, screenwriters, thinkers, and theorists have scheduled a series of visits to Halifax, Vancouver, Moncton, Ottawa and Toronto.

Our ongoing projects, in collaboration with our Canadian partners, attest to the cultural cooperation between our two nations: innovation, creativity, exchanges in the digital and creative industries, and cross-debates on how the major issues in society form the heart of our actions.

French cinema is in the spotlight:


This year, an even more generous helping of French films are showing at TIFF (the Toronto International Film Festival, September 6–16, including recent productions by Olivier Assayas, François Ozon, Laurent Cantet, Jacques Audiard, and Patrice Leconte),


at VIFF (the Vancouver International Film Festival, September 27–October 12), at the Atlantic Film Festival (Halifax, September 13–20), and the International Francophone Film Festival in Acadia (Moncton, November 15–23).<


The International Animation Festival (Ottawa, September 19–23), in which we are a partner again this year, will also present a substantial selection of French productions. As a matter of fact, France figures among the world leaders in this field and French directors receive awards at the best festivals. Film-maker Jean-François Laguionie and screenwriter Anik le Ray will come and represent their superb film Le Tableau, which is in competition at the festival.

The festival is also the cornerstone of Focus on French Animation, a selection of recent films chosen to be presented in a number of cities across Canada. The focusanimationfrance website will introduce the most recent productions, provide information about educational facilities in France, and present testimonials from leading professionals.
This project was developed in partnership with l’Institut Français, Campus France Canada, the French consulates, Unifrance, the Ottawa Animation Festival, and a number of other French and Canadian institutions (NFB, Festival d’Annecy, AFCA…).

Contemporary art, architecture, and French design are also seeing a resurgence in Canada:

Not long before artist Tania Mourad takes part in Nuit Blanche Toronto (September 29) and just when the New Forms Festival in Vancouver plans to host a groundbreaking “French Electronic Music Showcase” (featuring the highly-demanded Pilooski, Canblaster, and Kangding Ray), the “Hapax Legomena” exposition will open on September 14. At the invitation of curators Elodie Royer and Yoann Gourmel, the Mercer Union Centre for Contemporary Art (Toronto) will present never-before-seen-in-Canada work by ten of the most promising young French artists of their generation: Isabelle Cornaro, Julien Crépieux, Aurélien Froment, Mark Geffriaud, Cyrille Maillot, Benoît Maire, Benoît-Marie Moriceau, Bruno Persat, Chloé Quenum, Raphaël Zarka (September 14 – October 20, with the support of L’Institut Français).

The Claire Fontaine collective, a unique figure on the French contemporary art scene, will present its own most recent projects at the Audain Gallery (Vancouver, viewing on October 11).


The second Vis-à-vis architecture series will take place from September 21 to November 30, coordinated by the Embassy of France and l’Institut Français in collaboration with the General Consulates of France in Moncton, Québec, Toronto, and Vancouver, as well as with a number of architecture schools.

This year, we wanted to concentrate these exchanges as closely as possible on the urban planning issues facing the project’s partner cities. Ten French urban planning specialists (Patrick Norguet, Jean-Christophe Quinton, 1024 Architecture, Emmanuel Combarel, Tania Concko, Dominique Alba, Bernadette Blanchon, François Migeon, Henri Bava, and Frédéric Bonnet of Obras Architectes) will participate in public discussions in Halifax, Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Waterloo, Winnipeg, and Vancouver. AZURE Magazine is once again our exclusive media partner. For more information

-  Schedule:

Friday, October 12, date and location to be determined: lecture/presentation by 1024 architecture.
Monday, October 22, 6PM, National Gallery of Canada Auditorium, Ottawa: debate featuring Emmanuel Combarel and Tani Concko (regarding Lyon-Ottawa exchanges)

Another particularly interesting event: the gallery showing of the “Nouvelle Vague” exposition at the HarbourFront Centre (Toronto)
on September 28. This captivating exposition presented by curator Cédric Morisset will offer Toronto a look at the most recent design trends in France. Works by A+A Cooren, Pierre Favresse, NOCC, Ionna Vautrin, and Pool will be shown until December 30. “Nouvelle Vague” has been shown at the 2011 Milan Furniture Fair and in New York, with the support of l’Institut Français.

We should also mention the Symposium d’art/nature, developed in collaboration between Le Fonds France-Acadie and l’Université de Moncton. The exhibition’s curator, Bénédicte Ramade, will also be among our guests (Moncton, September 28 – October 9).

In Ottawa, on September 29, we plan to launch the first phase of our “Visions for the 21st century” project. Its goal is to assess, with the assistance of four French experts, the issues facing artistic institutions in the 21st century.

A discussion moderated by Paul Lang, Chief Curator of the National Gallery of Canada, will follow presentations by Xavier Dectot, Director of the Louvre-Lens, and by Laurent Salomé, Scientific Director of the Grand-Palais, Paris.

The second phase will begin on Saturday, November 10: Laurent Le Bon, Director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz, and Jean de Loisy, President of the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, will join with Marc Mayer, Director of the National Gallery of Canada, to discuss exactly what an institution for contemporary art can represent in the present day.

-  Schedule:

Saturday, September 29, 3PM – 5PM
Saturday, November 10, 3PM – 5PM

  • National Art Gallery Auditorium, Ottawa

From October 8 to 12, Halifax will host the Living Art Workshop, which is the result of close collaboration between the Halifax Centre for Art Tapes (CFAT) and Le Cube, an art centre based in Issy-les-Moulineaux, France. This project, dedicated to the new forms of digital art, will be presented as part of Nocturne (Halifax, October 13).

We wouldn’t forget to invite our leading scholars:

So, as part of a series of events for the year 2012/2013 conceived in cooperation with the University of Ottawa, on October 17 and 18, we will be pleased to present researcher Philippe Chanial, senior lecturer in sociology at l’Université Paris-Dauphine, researcher at l’Institut de Recherche Interdisciplinaire en Science de la Société (IRISSO-CNRS) [Institute for Interdisciplinary Social Science Research], and editor-in-chief of La Revue du MAUSS, published by the Mouvement Anti-utilitariste dans les Sciences Sociales [Anti-utilitarian Movement in the Social Sciences]. The theme of Mr. Chanial’s presentation will be: « Ce que le don donne à voir : la délicate essence du social » [“What gifts let us see: the delicate nature of social issues”].

-  Schedule:

The conference will take place on October 18 in the University of Ottawa’s Desmarais Building (room and time to be determined).

Finally, just before the Franco Canadian Digital Content Summit (Ottawa, November 14–16), Vancouver will host a seminar entitled “Digital connections: a France-Canada platform for collaboration in the digital media(October 25-27), which will be accompanied by a French delegation representing competitivity pole Cap Digital. This event, organized in cooperation with the Centre for Digital Media, will address issues related to innovation, business strategies, and the environments necessary for this digital economy to emerge.

Information about all of these events and more is available in the websites
of the Embassy of France, Twitter, Facebook
and of our consulates in

We hope to see you there!

Thomas Michelon

Cultural Advisor

Last modified on 25/09/2012

top of the page