Two films from Quebec filmmakers will be presented at the 7th edition of the Boston Latino International Film Festival (BLIFF). The films have english subtitles. The filmmakers are likely to attend, though their presence has yet to be confirmed.


Les femmes de la Brukman (The Women of Brukman)
Director: Isaac Isitan
Screening at: The Harvard Film Archive, Saturday October 4, 4pm

This film premiered at Sundance earlier this year.

Synopsis: During the 2001 economic collapse in Argentina, the seamstresses at Brukman's clothing factory took over the operation the owners had abandoned. They reorganized it on a self-management model, without a doubt the most inspiring of the many new economic experiments in that country.

Isaac Isitan followed these courageous women over many years, their struggle to get the operation running again, their expulsion from the factory, months of battling to get it back, and tangles with the law. This is the story of a venture that began as a means of survival and became a genuine school for civics.

Cubanos: Life and Death of a Revolution
Director: Yan Giroux
Screening at: The Harvard Film Archive, Sunday October 5, 9:45pm.

Synopsis: Cubanos, an independent production, liberates itself from television convention to draw an impressionist portrait of the Cuban community. Sincere interviews and sequence shots reveal an identity fragmented by 48 years of dictatorship.

The main character, Catuey, a Cuban musician, brings to his journey and his songs the image of an ideal Cuba hurt by the division in its people and the group-think that prevails in Miami.

While Catuey and the interviewees try to define themselves both as individuals and as Cubans, the camera paints a broader, more complex portrait of a people held prisoner by their history.

By exploring the richness of cinematographic language, Cubanos goes beyond the documentary genre to become a road movie that takes us to the heart of Catuey's struggle.

Date: From October 4, 2008 to October 5, 2008
Harvard Film Archive
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
24 Quincy Street
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA 02138

Marc-Antoine Bédard
Attaché aux Affaires publiques / Public Affairs Attaché
Délégation du Québec à Boston / Quebec Government Office in Boston
One Boston Place, suite 1920
201 Washington Street
Boston, MA 02108

The French Cultural League of New England and Dr. Hélène Day will give an illustrated lecture of the 400th Anniversary of Champlain Founding Quebec. A reception will follow. The lecture is held in Waltham (MA) on October 22nd at 6:30pm.

Free entrance and parking
Date: October 22, 2008
Place: Waltham Public Library, 735 Main Street, Waltham, MA
Information: (781) 314-3425 ext.2

Alain Lamontagne's podorythmie class (Wednesday nights) at SPDTQ (École des arts de la veillée, Montreal, QC) may be canceled due to low enrollment. If anyone's interested, please do sign up by contacting (514)273-0880 or by email (info@spdtq.qc.cq), and have fun! Check the other courses offered too...

Franco American Centre, September 23, 2008: - Dominica Merola Returns to Manchester

MANCHESTER, NH - As part of her Eastern Canadian / Northern U.S. tour, Montreal singer, Dominica Merola, will perform at the Franco-American Centre on October 25, 2008 at 7:30 P.M. Merola's dazzling performance with guitar accompaniment showcases her as an accomplished vocalist, pianist, and composer. Performed in French, English, and Italian, "The Sign of Desire" features moving melodies and colorful rhythms, creating a unique musical space with influences both near and far.

Performing with guitar accompaniment.
Franco-American Centre
52 Concord Street
Manchester, NH
Tickets: $13 general, $10 FAC members.
For details call 603-669-4045 or e-mail

25 Octobre: Chanteuse acclamée de Montréal.
Performance est accompagné de guitare.
Centre Franco-Américain
52 Concord Street
Manchester, NH
Billets: $13 attendents général, $10 membres de FAC.
Pour plus d'information contacté 603-669-4045 ou

About the Franco American Centre

The mission of the FAC is to preserve and promote the language, history, culture and art of the French speaking cultures. We offer French language classes, art exhibits, cultural celebrations and events that educate and entertain.

Memberships are available to the public. Please call the Centre at 669-4045 to get involved.

Franco American Centre
Christine Bois Davis
Executive Director

Jacqui Lantagne
Program Coordinator

My narrative about my trip to Quebec will start by the final destination: Quebec City. I can go on and on about the beautiful landscapes, the well-preserved architecture and the very French ambience, but I’ll skip all that in favor of the captivating people gathered at this local pub exactly 2 weeks ago.

On Tuesdays nights, Pub Le Nelligan’s in Quebec City receives a group of talented musicians of all levels. Carrying their many instruments, they gather around tables, drinks and a piano, to play music with a variety of influences from Irish, Celtic, Acadian, French and my all time favorite style, the Quebecois Traditional Music (that is basically a mix of all the previous).

My dear friend from Portneuf, Gaétan Morissette – member of the Duo Morissette-Dumont, invited me to stop by and enjoy the jam session. My first surprise was to run into a group of artists I just saw on stage and out at the Chants de Vielles festival, two days earlier. During all the night, once one tune was reaching the end, someone would already start a new one. Instruments would come and go, especially when these musicians usually play more than one. Guitars, fiddles, bodhrans, accordions and even one piano would compose the musical scene. Among the many artists having fun that night, I can name some:

1. Céline Fortin (mother of Antoine Gauthier from the band Les Chauffeurs à Pieds) shared the piano with equally talented (and also a fiddle player) Gaétan Lefèbvre.

2. Martin Racine, former member of long time of La Bottine Souriante, he plays now with the quebecois bands Le Train Qui Roule and Matching Keys. The last one is a group inspired by the Irish traditional music, although the group also presents a Celtic version of the song Whisky in the jar (Metallica). Despite all the crowded agenda, Martin still finds the time to be the artistic director for the École de Québec that also has Sophie Pomerleau as its director. This is a project developed by the Jeunes Musiciens du Monde. And Sophie Pomerleau was also at the pub with us!

3. Another great talent that joined the group at Nelligan’s is Louis-Simon Lemieux. He plays in a duet with his father, Daniel Lemieux, and also in the recently launched quartet Pères de Fils with Pierre-Léon and Bernard Simard. In the past, Louis-Simon was member of the band Les Chauffeurs à Pieds.

4. Claude Huot was having a great time playing his many bodhrans that night. He is a dear friend of Gaétan and told me many old stories about the pub and the people there. I just hope he could understand half of my poor French… and maybe next time he can tell me more about his very interesting musical instrument.

5. Hélène Fournier and Hervé Guillemer are a couple connected by the music… they came from Bretagne and live their romance in between these two countries… Canada and France seem so close when you meet them! They bring their Breton roots to the Quebecois Traditional Music… Check there story here.

6. Paul Marchand, the famous Quebecois guitar player, also stopped by but after playing so many times during Chants de Vielles – he was one of the main attractions in the fest; he spent his night enjoying the music but relaxing in another corner.

7. Martin Bouchard, a well-known artistic painter that also plays the fiddle very well, brought his girl to enjoy the night and meet friends. As you can see, the environment is very friendly, diverse and cozy!

8. François Morissette was the guitar player of the night. He also participate in many bands such as Les Batinses, Le Train Qui Roule and Matching Keys.

9. Completing the fiddle players that night, we had Mario Saint-Germain that knows so many tunes, and Cassandre Lambert-Pellerin that comes from Drummondville, the city that hosts the famous International Folklore Festival every July. Cassandre brought to this session her friend Francis Demers that basically amazed me with his skills playing the bones!

It was a great night and so many others stopped by to play, to be among friends, to drink and have fun. Certainly this is a place I’ll be going back many times… If you are also curious, take note: Pub Le Nelligan’s at 789, Cote St-Geneviève, Quebec City, QC, Canada. The owner of the place is called Peter Farell and the phone number of the place is (418) 529-7817 or (418) 522-6504.

Cambridge, New York

Hubbard Hall Projects
25 East Main Street
Cambridge, NY 12816

Todd DeGarmo
Center for Folklife, History and Cultural Programs
Crandall Public Library
Southern Adirondack Library System
22 Whitney Place, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
(518) 584-7300 x214

All events free unless otherwise noted


October 2, 2008

* All Day — Bread Oven Construction in Freight Yard
Presenter: Jean Laberge

October 3, 2008

* All Day — Bread Oven Construction in Freight Yard
Presenter: Jean Laberge
* 4:00 – 6:00 — Performance at Bread Oven Site
Performers: Bliss and Robbie McIntosh; Irish step dancers

October 4, 2008

* All Day — Bread Oven Construction in Freight Yard
Presenter: Jean Laberge
* 2:00 – 5:00 — Demonstrations by Quebecois Traditional Artists at the Cambridge Public Library
Presenters: Richard Roy (French-Canadian dowser), Adrien Landry (basketmaker), Rejean Boisvert (snowshoes), Francoise Ouimet (rag rugs)
* 6:30 — Potluck Meal at Beacon Feed Art Studio
Bring a dish of food to share
* 8:00 — Performance at Hubbard Hall
Performers: Club Carrefour, Bernie Ouimet, Catherine (Memere) Charron
Donations Appreciated

October 5, 2008

* 10:00 – 2:00 — Music and Storytelling by Quebecois Traditional Artists at the Cambridge Farmers Market
Presenters: Club Carrefour, George Wilson, Catherine (Memere) Charron
* 10:00 – 2:00 — Demonstrations by Quebecois Traditional Artists at the Cambridge Farmers Market
Presenters: Richard Roy (French-Canadian dowser), Adrien Landry (basketmaker), Rejean Boisvert (snowshoes), Jean Laberge (bread oven builder)
Food provided by Spoonful Catering & King’s Donuts
* 3:00 — Step Dance Workshop at Beacon Feed Building
* 4:00 — Community Dance at Beacon Feed Building
Musicians: Club Carrefour
* 6:00 — Farewell Dinner at Beacon Feed Building
Cost: $8.00 adults, $4.00 12 and under.

Rhode Island
Please note: This event is taking place in two locations. These two locations are twenty minutes apart by car.

Craft demonstrations:
Will be located at the St. Ann Art and Culture Center in Woonsocket, RI from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Evening Concert:
Will be held at Le Foyer in Pawtucket, RI from 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm.

Winnie Lambrecht
Folk/Traditional & Community Arts Program
(401) 222-6996

All events free unless otherwise noted


September 27 , 2008

* 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm — Demonstrations by Quebecois Traditional Artists at the St. Ann Art and Culture Center
Presenters: Sylvette Chanel (religious wax figures), France Hervieux (sash weaving), Richard Roy (French-Canadian dowser), Local craftspeople are also participating
* 5:30 pm – 11:00 pm — Dinner and Concert at Le Foyer
Musicians: Daniel Boucher, Colette Fournier and friends; Les gens d'plaisir [Tess LeBlanc, Paul Marchand, Daniel Lemieux, Louis-Simon Lemieux, Stephane Landry and Denis Maheux].
This is a ticketed event.
Please call Le Foyer for reservations: (401) 728-8328.

*This article isn't music-related, but I wanted to share anyway. Bengal.*

September 19, 2008
Op-Ed Contributor


LAST month, the Bush administration launched the latest salvo in its eight-year campaign to undermine women's rights and women's health by placing ideology ahead of science: a proposed rule from the Department of Health and Human Services that would govern family planning. It would require that any health care entity that receives federal financing — whether it's a physician in private practice, a hospital or a state government — certify in writing that none of its employees are required to assist in any way with medical services they find objectionable.

Laws that have been on the books for some 30 years already allow doctors to refuse to perform abortions. The new rule would go further, ensuring that all employees and volunteers for health care entities can refuse to aid in providing any treatment they object to, which could include not only abortion and sterilization but also contraception.

Health and Human Services estimates that the rule, which would affect nearly 600,000 hospitals, clinics and other health care providers, would cost $44.5 million a year to administer. Astonishingly, the department does not even address the real cost to patients who might be refused access to these critical services. Women patients, who look to their health care providers as an unbiased source of medical information, might not even know they were being deprived of advice about their options or denied access to care.

The definition of abortion in the proposed rule is left open to interpretation. An earlier draft included a medically inaccurate definition that included commonly prescribed forms of contraception like birth control pills, IUD's and emergency contraception. That language has been removed, but because the current version includes no definition at all, individual health care providers could decide on their own that birth control is the same as abortion.

The rule would also allow providers to refuse to participate in unspecified "other medical procedures" that contradict their religious beliefs or moral convictions. This, too, could be interpreted as a free pass to deny access to contraception.
Many circumstances unrelated to reproductive health could also fall under the umbrella of "other medical procedures." Could physicians object to helping patients whose sexual orientation they find objectionable? Could a receptionist refuse to book an appointment for an H.I.V. test? What about an emergency room doctor who wishes to deny emergency contraception to a rape victim? Or a pharmacist who prefers not to refill a birth control prescription?

The Bush administration argues that the rule is designed to protect a provider's conscience. But where are the protections for patients?

The 30-day comment period on the proposed rule runs until Sept. 25. Everyone who believes that women should have full access to medical care should make their voices heard. Basic, quality care for millions of women is at stake.

Hillary Rodham Clinton is a Democratic senator from New York. Cecile Richards is the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Dear all:

I'm back from my trip to Quebec and with much to tell. Chants de Vielles festival this year surprised me with its increase in the size and quality. The organizers are doing a nice job and surely attracting more and more audience each year.

While out there, I had the opportunity to meet with my dear friend Benoit Bourque and learn about his new projects coming up. I'll be sharing this and more with you all, soon... I also had a great time enjoying the company of many of these Quebecois talents at a local pub, and I thank my friend Gaétan Morissette for the invitation!

Keep an eye for my new interview, this time with talented artist Eric Beaudry that talks about his projects with De Temps Antan and also with his brother Simon Beaudry.