Annual French for the Future Conference Is April 11

Alyssa, Mike Cohen and Catherine Verdon-Diamond
Montreal - Tuesday, April 3, 2018

The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Théâtre Marie-Gérin Lajoie (405 Ste-Catherine E. at St. Denis) will be the venue for the 2018 French for the Future Montreal Local Forum on Wednesday, April 11 (9 a.m.).

Aimed at promoting bilingualism amongst Canadian youth, the theme of the annual French for The Future Conference is Respect, Culture and Integration into Québécois Society. Approximately 600 students from 11 Montreal high schools from three school boards will be present. Charismatic Breakfast TV Montreal personality Catherine Verdon-Diamond, whose mother tongue is French, will be the emcee.

Canadian Olympic basketball player Lizanne Murphy will address the students about her experience.

A featured highlight will be a French for the Future version of TVA’s La Voix (the French-language answer to NBC’s The Voice). Some young Anglophone singers from Montreal will share their experience performing in French on stage and then place their chairs facing away from the stage as student singers perform for them. Like the TV show, they will only hear their voices and turn around if they want them on their team. Chelsea Goldwater, 12, from Royal West Academy appeared on La Voix Junior last fall.  Alessandro Gabrielli, 12, attends École des Découvreurs in LaSalle. He appeared in the large scale Montreal French production of Mary Poppins last year and most recently sang the national anthems at the New York Nicks game at Madison Square Garden. Ben Alexander, a Royal West graduate who is presently on La Voix, will be on hand as well.

Other activities will include a show from internationally known Québécois rapper and graffiti artist, Monk.e, an interactive quiz on Québécois culture, a francophone hip hop dance group, Or Pür, from the Urban Element Dance Zone and a much anticipated interactive finale starring the always entertaining Ligue D’improvisation Montréalaise. The event will conclude with some exciting prizes presented by local sponsors (Bureau en gros, Le TAZ, iSAUTE, Renaud Bray etc.). The identity of a guest speaker from the Canadian Olympic team will be announced shortly.

The wide variety of programs allowing students to be immersed in the French language over the course of an entire day will undoubtedly allow them to feel proud of being bilingual, and also it will strengthen their connection to the Québécois culture that surrounds them on a daily basis. For more details log on to

Participating schools are: Westmount High School, Royal West Academy in Montreal West, Royal Vale and Marymount Academy in NDG and Laurier Macdonald in St. Léonard from the English Montreal School Board (EMSB); Macdonald High School in Ste. Anne de Bellevue, Lakeside Academy in Lachine, Lindsay Place, John Rennie and St. Thomas in Pointe Claire from the Lester B. Pearson School Board; and Howard S. Billings High School in Chateauguay from the New Frontiers School Board.

For more details log on to