June 16, 2021
This year, festival-goers and the organization are preparing another way to celebrate the 39th edition of the Franco-Fête de Toronto, with a fully virtual 2021 program lineup. This formula will extend the traditional weekend event to a month-long celebration, from July 8 to 29.
« Regardless of what the future may hold for us, it is important that the Franco-Fête de Toronto be able to pursue its efforts to bring together the Greater Toronto’s francophone community around La Francophonie. We hope that with this 39th edition, which will once again be virtual, we will get to bring our celebrations to an even wider audience, who will join us next year to celebrate La Francophonie in Toronto’s Yonge-Dundas Square », noted newly appointed Franco-Fête de Toronto President Vincent Rocheleau.
Just as 2020 highlighted the Haitian culture, this year’s Franco-Fête moves to Africa, to introduce everyone to another one of La Francophonie’s magnificent countries, Togo. And what better way to celebrate the Togolese community than to have ABEL MAXWELL, a native son of that West African country, headline the festival ?
VIRTUAL PROGRAM LINEUP – 4 EVENINGS – 4 ARTISTS – 4 SHOWS
Every Thursday between July 8 and 22, at 5:30 p.m. sharp, an artist from La Francophonie will give a free 20-minute show on our Facebook page! The artists will also be available for live chats with the audience during those shows.
FESTIVAL LAUNCH – Thursday, July 8, 2021 – 5:30 p.m. – FFT Facebook Live
ABEL MAXWELL presented by AEFO
Author, composer and performer Abel Maxwell became a UNESCO-sponsored artist, and later a Canadian best-selling author. He has recorded four (4) albums, and attracted close to one (1) million followers through regular appearances on his social media platforms. Abel is becoming increasingly well known on the French Afrobeats music scene, reaching young people and encouraging them to remain resilient through these difficult pandemic times.
Thursday, July 15, 2021 – 5:30 p.m. – FFT Facebook Live
MELANIE BRULÉE – presented by CHOQ-FM 105,1
In what will not be this artist’s first appearance at FFT, Mélanie Brulée integrates her mother tongue on stage as naturally as she weaves through different musical genres. Since launching her first album in 2015, she has lent her voice to the French version of Ontario’s official anthem “Où l’on se tient”, received three Trille Or Award nominations and won a Stingray-Galaxie Rising Star. Her second release in 2018 launched her into the limelight, with appearances from the Francofolies de Montréal to SXSW in Austin, Texas.
Thursday, July 22, 2021 – 5:30 p.m. – FFT Facebook Live
JULIE KIM – presented by OLG
An ever-popular presence on the Franco-Canadian scene, music artist Julie Kim collaborated for years with slam poet Yao and was part of the retro-swing trio Chiclettes, which won Contact Ontarois’ Coup de foudre award in 2010, leading to their 2011 tour through Ontario and the Maritime provinces with their show “De Wawa à New York”, and winning the hearts of French audiences. After more than 250 shows with a wide range of musical genres, she decided to take her career solo. She released her first album, “Portrait”, a true to life account of the artist and the woman she became, in which she explores different issues, such as identity and self-image
CLOSING PERFORMANCE – Thursday, July 29, 2021 – 5:30 p.m. – FFT Facebook Live
YAO – presented by Unis TV
A Franco-Ontarian from Togo, Yao has charmed us with the warm universe of his gentle poetry and his artistic daring. After making a name for himself on the Franco-Canadian scene with his album “Perles et Paraboles”, in October 2015, Yao received the SPACQ foundation’s Édith-Butler award. His latest project, “Lapsus” made it to 24th place in the Top 200 of new French creations on iTunes Canada, in the French Pop category. In 2019, with seven nominations at the Trille Or Awards Gala, he won the top three awards, for Best Solo Artist, Best Live Show and Media Favourite. Being just as active off the stage as on, in November 2018, he received a Commemorative Medal of the Senate for the 150th anniversary of the Senate’s first sitting to acknowledge his achievements in the community through his art and his efforts to promote cultural diversity across the country.
« For the performing arts industry, it is no secret that this year presented more challenges than usual. Fortunately, in our industry, adapting to the unexpected is what we do best. We have learned a lot, and audiences have always been keen, which, when all is said and done, is what we all want. This year, we want to offer them a way to personalize their FFT experience, namely by encouraging local merchants who have also worked so hard to reinvent themselves and try to find other ways to serve the public», explains Michel-Olivier Matte, general director of the event.
THE FFT2021 EXPERIENCE
This year’s FFT will not be taking place in Yonge-Dundas Square but rather in YOUR home! And don’t think that just because we can’t be on site that we can’t enjoy the full FFT experience!!! As it happens, we created a page on our new Web site, where we offer festival-goers some ideas on how to make the most of the Franco-Fête experience, even at home. Whether to enhance your listening area during shows, add a gastronomic component to your experience, or simply get into a festive mood by whipping up a cocktail proposed by our local merchants, you’ll find more than enough to release your inner party animal and vibrate to the music of our four (4) guest artists in the comfort of your home.
A TEASER: THE FFT2021 PLAYLIST
To give you a taste of what we will be offering this summer, the Franco-Fête de Toronto team has prepared a reading list on Spotify entitled FRANCO-FÊTE DE TORONTO 2021. Check out our featured artists’ videos to get yourself in the mood for this big celebration being prepared for you!
La FRANCO-FÊTE DE TORONTO is a festival that, for the past 39 years, has been presenting, in July in Yonge-Dundas Square, shows by francophone artists from Ontario and other parts of Canada and the world, thanks to its many loyal partners :
OLG, AEFO, Unis TV, the Government of Canada, the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Créatif, the Ontario Arts Council, CHOQ-FM 105.1, GrandToronto.ca, L’Express.ca, Le Métropolitain and Destination Toronto.