Author Topic: The English Canadian Olympics  (Read 27329 times)

Offline Monika

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Re: The English Canadian Olympics
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2010, 12:48:10 pm »

k d lang definitively took the show with what I've often said has been the best english 'new song' of the past quater century.

I agree! Several people I´ve talked to over the last few days have said the same thing, even though many of them hadn´t heard of her before.

I had a k.d Lang evening last night, watching a dozen or so interviews. She is gorgeous and what a voice.

Offline Monika

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Re: The English Canadian Olympics
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2010, 12:49:36 pm »

Offline Aloysius J. Gleek

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Re: The English Canadian Olympics
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2010, 02:11:53 pm »


k d lang definitively took the show with what I've often said has been the best english 'new song' of the past quater century.


I agree! Several people Ive talked to over the last few days have said the same thing, even though many of them hadn't heard of her before.
I had a k.d Lang evening last night, watching a dozen or so interviews. She is gorgeous and what a voice.


Juno Awards, Winnipeg, 2005
k.d. Lang sings Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah

[youtube=425,350]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_NpxTWbovE&feature[/youtube]


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hallelujah_(Leonard_Cohen_song)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leonard_Cohen
"Tu doives entendre je t'aime."
(and you know who I am...)


Cowboy Curtis (Laurence Fishburne)
and Pee-wee in the 1990 episode
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Offline oilgun

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Re: The English Canadian Olympics
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2010, 02:24:51 pm »
I've just seen the entire opening ceremonies @ http://www.ctvolympics.ca/video/collections/collectionid=40427/index.html
(live feed on Saturday night sucked big time - only got to watch about half the show)

And I have these additional comments about the English Canadian Olympics.

In spite of the inclusiveness of intent, the truth is in the tasting. There was even less french 'speach' than I had imagined.

First, the Aboriginal introduction: did they have to tag along a simple 'bienvenue' after having spoken in their native language and in english? Couldn't at least one of the four nations have made their welcome in their native tongue and french with a simple 'welcome' instead? (BTW, looking at the faces, I fully believe that those were original Natives, Métis and Inuits - in their most attractive and representative garbs and dance mouvements)

The president of the Vancouver Games used three occasions to speak in French, never using more than 3 words each time and never adding anything new in terms of ideas, unlike Rogue, who actually added some additional 'message' when speaking en français.

As for Garou, (whom the english announcer couldn't even pronouce correctly), he's many rungs bellow Céline Dion's celebrity status (though he was a good fit for the show). One does not adequately compensate for the other. They needed to at least have a cast of francophone celebrities if they were to limit french to a single song - which I still can't accept as being adequate. I liked Garou's interpretation, but did they have to have the text of his song translated in both languages on all screens? Did they do that for any of the English songs? - Tokenism at it's worse.

I'm not done, but I'll continue in another post.

I like Garou and I don't consider him several rungs below the wailing Celine, lol!  He may not be as well-known internatinally as she is, but then, who is?

This is pretty pathetic, VANOC is so arrogant and clueless (I was right about the Celine Dion thing, LOL!)

Source: http://www.ctvolympics.ca/news-centre/newsid=41449.html#vanoc+defends+french+content+opening+ceremony

VANOC defends French content of opening ceremony
The Globe and Mail
By Rod Mickleburgh, The Globe and Mail Posted Sunday, February 14, 2010 4:28 PM ET

VANCOUVER - Olympic organizers rushed Sunday to defend the francophone content of Friday's opening ceremonies, after strong criticism by Heritage Minister James Moore, who said bluntly that there should have been more French in the three-hour show.

Official Languages Commissioner Graham Fraser joined in the criticism, saying he had the impression he was watching a performance, despite its stunning visual impact, "that was conceived, developed and presented in English, with a French song at the end."

But VANOC spokeswoman Renée Smith-Valade said the organization had made "a very deliberate focus and effort to ensure a strong celebration of Quebec culture and language."
Producers of the spectacular, multimillion-dollar extravaganza had also tried to increase the French share of the show by asking Quebec's celebrated Céline Dion to participate, but Ms. Dion declined, Ms. Smith-Valade disclosed.

The world-famous singer was in hospital at the time of the ceremonies, for treatments to help her conceive a second child.
"Céline Dion was thrilled to be asked, and she was disappointed not to be able to come, and we would have loved to have her," Ms. Smith-Valade said.
Two other top-flight Quebec artists, whom she refused to identify, also turned VANOC down, citing scheduling difficulties, she added.
But three of the eight Olympic flag bearers were from Quebec, stunning acrobatics during the ceremonies were performed by École national de cirque from Montreal, two of the show's chief producers were Québécois, and the final spotlight before the arrival of the Olympic torch went to Quebec singer Garou, she pointed out.
Ms. Smith-Valade acknowledged that perhaps VANOC had not done a good enough job communicating with the federal government about the elements in the gala production that highlighted the French culture and language.

In an interview with the CBC, Mr. Moore said he was proud of the spectacular production "with this one caveat. ... There should have been more French. Full stop. Period. ... I was disappointed there wasn't as much French as we were expecting, and as we were told there would be."
The minister added the government has made it clear to VANOC that they expect better at the ceremonies to close the Olympics, Feb. 28.
Mr. Moore declined to elaborate on his comments to CBC, but spokeswoman Deirdra McCracken said: "We voiced our concerns directly to VANOC. We did so immediately."
Mr. Fraser echoed Mr. Moore's disappointment, particularly given the steps VANOC had taken to ensure signage, volunteers and all announcements are bilingual at the Games. "French could be seen at the ceremonies, but it wasn't what I expected after all the work we've done [with VANOC]."

He noted that even a quotation from 19th-century Québécois poet François-Xavier Garneau was read out in translated English, rather than its original French.
Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff, interviewed while taking in an Olympic speed skating event, said he wondered at the lack of French content during the ceremonies, as well. "I think the francophone culture was short. It was a little bit of a letdown."

Asked about the same issue moments after the ceremony concluded, executive producer David Atkins referred to the long segment of Acadian fiddling and the song, Un peu plus haut, un peu plus loin, performed by Garou "at the penultimate moment of the ceremony ... Should one be ruled by quota or significance?"

Ms. Smith-Valade also reminded reporters that Mr. Atkins had felt the overall atmosphere created during the ceremonies was more French than English, because it was more intimate [making it more French].

Offline Sheriff Roland

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Re: The English Canadian Olympics
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2010, 10:48:26 am »
An English (Québecois) newspaper's response to Canada and, in particular, the offensive opening ceremonies ...

http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/arrogant+nationalism+were+sport+Canada+would+gold/2568915/story.html

If arrogant nationalism were a sport, Canada would win gold


Although the organizers bent over backward to give an appropriate place to Canada's native people, their blind spot in regard to French Canada was staggeringly disrespectful. You'd almost think a sovereignist mole had staged the whole ceremony to stoke Quebec's resentment.
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Offline Sheriff Roland

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Re: The English Canadian Olympics
« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2010, 07:38:54 am »
They're a week late and only angry by half, but the 'Olympic Network' is finally talking about the gaff of the Opening Ceremony ...

Opening ceremony reignites bilingualism debate

http://www.ctvolympics.ca/news-centre/newsid=47481.html

Games CEO John Furlong, an Anglophone, faced personal criticism for his almost-totally English speech at the Opening Ceremony and has defended the Games' bilingualism.
...

French is both an official language of Canada and the Olympic Games, but there was only one French song performed, and certainly international viewers with little knowledge of Canada could be forgiven for thinking Aboriginal culture dwarfs French culture in this country.
...

Adele Mercier, a professor of philosophy specializing in language at Queen's University, says that the Opening Ceremony did an excellent and "respectful" job at highlighting the diversity of Canada. However, she says it made a significant misstep by treating French as "just another subculture" and not as one of Canada's founding nations.

"As a representation of the ideals of Canada, I thought it was great," Mercier told CTV.ca in an interview. "I think the problem is that the French were treated . . . as just another subculture that Canada has, that we are all happily tolerating.

"This is irksome for official and historical reasons...It strikes a chord among French Canada because French Canadians have a historical memory...the first colonists' approach to French Canadians was to try to assimilate us and this was almost as good a representation of the fact that it has succeeded."


Promises of improving the french content for the Closing Ceremonies won't repair the damage done. As a francophone born, raise and living my entire life outside of the province Québec, I feel I have been ignored, a voice just pissing in the wind. Unless Québec reacts, apparently I'm just an old dotting fool.
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Offline Sheriff Roland

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Re: The English Canadian Olympics
« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2010, 08:10:54 am »
I understand that this is just a reader's comment, but it's worth sharing:

http://www.ottawacitizen.com/life/Speak+both+languages/2584718/story.html

Speak both languages

"If the Olympics had been in Quebec City and this had been the case, I doubt very much that these critics would have been as accepting of the dominance of one official language over the other official language."

Imagine the furour if the CEO of the "Québec" Olympics had used as little english as the Vancouver Game's CEO used french.

And the outrage of having experienced a single anglo song at the Opening Ceremony where about a dozen numbers were performed ... and just tagging it as the last song before the end of the show.

I don't usually listen to talk radio, but my favourite radio station (AM740) has a two hour phone in talk show 5 days a week. On the first Monday after the Opening Ceremony, callers were actually complaining that there had been to much French at the Games.

Disgusting ...
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Offline Sheriff Roland

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Re: The English Canadian Olympics
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2010, 08:37:30 am »
And from Calgary ... another reader's comment ...

C'est la vie

http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/C'est+la+vie/2591118/story.html


I have to think that the official languages commissioner wasting money to investigate the lack of French in the opening ceremony is one of those things that makes anglophone Canadians furious about what Quebec deems fair. There was a whole song in French. If that is not enough French content (along with one of two official languages being French) then what is? This is Vancouver's Games. Not Montreal's.


Is there any wonder that I don't stop reacting?
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Offline oilgun

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Re: The English Canadian Olympics
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2010, 11:15:57 am »
And from Calgary ... another reader's comment ...

C'est la vie

http://www.calgaryherald.com/life/C'est+la+vie/2591118/story.html


I have to think that the official languages commissioner wasting money to investigate the lack of French in the opening ceremony is one of those things that makes anglophone Canadians furious about what Quebec deems fair. There was a whole song in French. If that is not enough French content (along with one of two official languages being French) then what is? This is Vancouver's Games. Not Montreal's.


Is there any wonder that I don't stop reacting?

The Calgary Herald of course. Is it any wonder we view Albertans as rednecks?

And there I thought the Games were Canada's.  But then, considering how badly received they are internationally, Vancouver can have them.

There was a poll on MSN asking if the amount of French at the Olympics is Not enough, Just Right or Too Much! (Exclamation point included).  You can just imagine which choice was ahead by an overwhelming margin.  I can't find the poll now, they probably dropped it out of embarrassment.



Offline oilgun

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Re: The English Canadian Olympics
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2010, 04:25:56 pm »
Even conservative columnist Lysiane Gagnon was offended:

The big snub tarnishes Quebec gold

Many Quebeckers watched the Olympic opening ceremonies with pride. And then they realized they weren't invited to the party

Two things are missing from the Winter Games: snow (a useful ingredient for winter sports) and French (the other language of an officially bilingual country).

No one expected Vancouver, where French is far less spoken than, say, Mandarin, Punjabi or even Tagalog, to put on a bilingual face. But the city and local organizers of the Games made a tremendous effort to accommodate French speakers. Quebec reporters were happily surprised to be greeted in French at the airport.

“I don't remember another Olympics where French was as prominent,” wrote La Presse columnist Pierre Foglia. “The biographies of the athletes, the schedule of the events and explanations about them, everything is in excellent French. In fact, at the two sites [I went to], we've had more French than English.”

It went wrong with the opening ceremonies, which were a blatant insult to francophones – the first people of Canada of European origin whose descendants still form a quarter of the Canadian population. As Prime Minister Stephen Harper likes to say, Canada as we know it was born in French.

The Vancouver Organizing Committee, which had more than six years to prepare for the Games, subcontracted the conception of the opening ceremonies to an Australian artistic director.  And no one at VANOC seemed to notice that the show virtually excluded any reference to Canada's French culture, even though VANOC had been criticized a year ago for having mounted a basically unilingual event to mark the beginning of the countdown to the Games.


Continues: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/the-big-snub-tarnishes-quebec-gold/article1475096/