The Night of Ideas in Canada [fr]

Watch the #nightofideas Canada for hours of debates and artistic performances from coast to coast, accessible for free on the Youtube channel of the Night of Ideas in Canada.

Annual gathering dedicated to the free circulation of ideas and knowledge, the 6th edition of the Night of Ideas, coordinated in Canada by the French Embassy, in partnership with the Alliances françaises and many Canadian cultural and academic institutions, was held on Thursday, January 28, 2021 on the topic « Close(r) ». This event, which encourages, in 75 countries on the 5 continents, exchange and global collective reflection, is this year entirely virtual.

Free of charge, online and live on social networks, the Night of Ideas in Canada consisted in 24 events, across the country, from Halifax to Vancouver, Moncton, Quebec City, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary and Victoria, 14 Canadian cities in all.

The Night of Ideas in Canada offers a rich and diverse program: debates, conversations and interdisciplinary meetings, as well as artistic performances, comic book improvisation and film debates.

It brought together many inspiring, daring and committed Canadian and French figures, such as Canadian writers John Ralston Saul, Kim Thuy, Charles Montgomery, Innu poet Josephine Bacon and French science-fiction writer Alain Damasio.

The debates were interspersed with performances by Canadian and French artists such as French graphic designer Dalkhafine, Canadian rock band Hologramme or French dance company Les Parleuses.

100% virtual

All these events were virtual and accessible for free on the Youtube channel of the Night of Ideas in Canada and on the Facebook page of the Consulate General of France in Quebec for the Quebec section. From coast to coast, more than 24 hours of debates, conversations and artistic performances will be accessible to all, on January 28th, from 9:45 am to 1 am (EST).

The programming of the Night of Ideas in Canada city by city is available below and on the France Canada Culture website and on the Consulate General of France in Quebec website.


The theme « Close(r) » at the heart of the Night of Ideas 2021 allows us to question the transformation of our relationship to space and mobility, the new forms of solidarity that the crisis in our economic and social models calls for, and the place of digital technology in our societies, which is increasingly shaping our relationship with the world. From the themes of new technologies and digital, to Aboriginal peoples, reinvented art and Artificial Intelligence, the 2021 edition of the Night of Ideas in Canada will take on a special significance in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In addition to the entire network of the Alliances françaises in Canada, many renowned partners have associated themselves with this special night of reflection, including the universities of Dalhousie, Carlton, Toronto, and UQAM, and cultural institutions such as the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, the Ottawa Air and Space Museum, and the Halifax Immigration Museum.

#NightofIdeas #NuitdesIdées



MONCTON - Reinventing links through digital technology
Over the course of an evening, the artistic, academic, medical, entrepreneurial and business communities from New Brunswick, Quebec and France will share their digital experience in their relationships with others. Successes and failures will be discussed, and each one will talk about his or her own path to maintain ties in a world where isolation is the rule.

HALIFAX - "Perfect distance" between humans and things
"On the evening of January 28th, the world of science, museums and the public in the Atlantic, Quebec and France will be questioning the question of the "right distance" to information and beings in a digitalized world. In search of a positive future, proximity and distance will be debated through the arts, sciences and lively and thoughtful exchanges".

TROIS-RIVIÈRES - I am elsewhere, the center is here
Galerie R3 and the Groupe URAV (UQTR) are offering a Night of Ideas divided into two sessions during which conferences, debates and musical and video performances alternate in the context of the exhibition by French artist Bernard Pourrière. During these sequences, you can meet Nicolas Bourriaud, director of the MO.CO and art critic, Derrick de Kerckhove, media theorist, Hervé Fischer, artist-philosopher, Pierre Ouellet, researcher and writer, Christine Palmieri, artist and writer, and the French artist Bernard Pourrière. During these sequences, you can find Nicolas Bourriaud, director of the MO.CO and art critic, Derrick de Kerckhove, media theorist, Hervé Fischer, artist-philosopher, Pierre Ouellet, researcher and writer, Christine Palmieri, artist and poet-art critic as well as Slobodan Radosavljevic, artist and teacher.

MONTREAL - "Humanity in Proximity".
The Galerie de l’UQAM returns this year with three duos of committed women where the notions of humanity, community and proximity intersect. Rima Elkouri, journalist, Kapwani Kiwanga, artist (Prix Marcel-Duchamp 2020), and curators Gaëtane Verna, Véronique Leblanc and Sonia Recasens explore angles of realities as diverse as the experience of exile and immigration, otherness and solidarity, inclusion and exclusion. Video works by Leila Zelli and Isabelle Kanapé are also presented.

QUÉBEC-LÉVIS - "Distance as an engine of creation".
The Maison de la littérature de Québec explores the theme Proches with author Alain Damasio (Grand Prix de l’imaginaire 2020) during a major interview with the bookstore Les Bouquinistes de Chicoutimi. During a virtual round-table discussion, author Alain Mabanckou and authors Marie-Ève Lacasse and Michèle Ouimet will discuss how expatriation influences their writing process, their work and their relationship to identity. Cocoons capsules with authors Anne-Marie Desmeules and Naomi Fontaine, and author Jean Sioui will punctuate the discussions - realized in collaboration with the Maison natale of

CHICOUTIMI - "Rethinking otherness & social structures".
The artist-run center le LOBE in Chicoutimi presents a round-table discussion with Marcelle Dubé, professor in social sciences and humanities, Eruoma Awashish, visual artist Atikamewk, Normand Baillargeon, philosopher and Yves-Marie Abraham, professor and thinker of degrowth. A concert by Sheenah Ko, live from the Centre d’Expérimentation Musicale, will close the evening.

SHERBROOKE - When Artists and Scientists Come Together
The artist-run center Sporobole, the Théâtre des Petites Lanternes and the University of Sherbrooke are jointly presenting two capsules to rethink the proximity between art and science, two subjects that at first glance appear to be opposed. The first one exposes Axauralité, a research-creation project by Georges Roussel, Ana Dall’Ara Majek, and Philippe-Aubert Gauthier on the principle of augmented listening, through the material means of acoustic crystals. Next, L’âme de Monarques will be broadcast, a capsule in which dancers Simon Durocher, Elise Legrand and French choreographer Thierry Niang discuss how to express post-traumatic shock through dance. The public is then invited to debate virtually during a Kitchen Party of geeks and artists: bickering, bickering and love.

OTTAWA - So far so near
The pandemic has affected personal and professional relationships: two panels of experts in psychology, linguistics, moving images, museology and space travel will speak about it in French and English, guided by two personalities from the business and research world. These panels will be complemented by live piano performances, a major interview with futurologist writer Alain Damasio, and an interview with the director and producer of the works on the life of French cosmonaut Thomas Pesquet.

TORONTO - Rapprochement(s)
How can ideas, science and the arts bring us closer together in an age of great isolation? How, in the face of the rise of individualism and nationalism, in the face of the fragmentation of community solidarity, in the face of a violent history, an anxiety-provoking present and an uncertain future, can dialogue between people, between genders, between cultures, demine, break down walls erected on fault lines, repair damaged relationships, create new ones? In light of the notion of "rapprochement(s)", Toronto’s Ideas Night will offer a series of online discussions between Canada and France, artistic performances, readings and screenings, from 7:00 pm to 7:00 am.

WINNIPEG - Aboriginal Perspectives on Nature
"In the context of a global pandemic where humans feel fragile and vulnerable, humans are questioning themselves. They are worried about their health, question their rights and wonder about their place and their relationship with Nature. Winnipeg’s Night of Ideas will humbly invite you to revisit these questions through the inspiring eyes of Aboriginal cultures.

CALGARY - EDMONTON - Let’s walk at night
Listen to the evening sounds as you follow the footsteps of Dr. Tallbear, a professor at the University of Alberta. We’ll discuss the place of First Nations in Edmonton, the place of technology in our society, the place of nature in our society? A breath of fresh air and reflection!

VANCOUVER - New solidarities
"Citizen 2.0: Towards a fairer world for nature and humans? »
Citizens 2.0 encourages us to take our individual and collective responsibilities. They are committed, authentic and their gestures are driven by values that are dear to their hearts. They privilege time rather than money, put the being before the having and wish to preserve the natural world. These men and women have invented new ways to collaborate, to educate themselves, to consume and to build new forms of solidarity.

Closing during COVID: a night of stories and connection
"For many pandemic has brought isolation and loneliness, as the virus makes it difficult to meet with friends and family or attend public events.
And yet, Covid has also allowed us to find new solidarities with each other, and reflect on the importance of our relations with the ones who are usually close to us."

VICTORIA - Sharing Isolation: Cultures and Memories to Bounce Back Together
Let’s connect and explore the promise of community contact and memory, as well as personal resilience that culture holds. Thus, after evoking the humorous e-mail chains, virtual museum visits or musical parodies that have punctuated our lives in French during the pandemic, we will compose and share our own stories and reflections. Let’s share our isolations!

Last modified on 01/02/2021

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