The Francos Festival – In the heart of Mile End –that Montreal neighbourhood marked by rail lines, old industrial sites, and a diverse population– residents and community organizations have decided to put into action their desires to enjoy together this short period that is our summer. With the purpose of putting these ideas into practice, they have converted an empty spot located between the CP Rail line and the corner of Bernard and Gaspé streets into a temporary place for music shows, and arts presentations. The idea is to set a gathering place for neighbours and people from other parts of the city who would want to share a beer or try some of the food offered at the kiosks or the food truck parked on Gaspé.
Named Aire Commune (Common Area) the site was officially inaugurated this Thursday and will remain open until September 21. The organizers have planned to have dance evenings hosted by a DJ, live music shows featuring local bands, conferences, and other activities that will be presented by people who work or reside in the area.
This initiative is part or local community groups to improve life in that very significant sector of Mile End and has counted on the support of local businesses, some companies from outside the area as well, and the Plateau Mt. Royal borough.
FRANCOS GET SUPPORT FOR TEN YEAR
The festival that used to be known as FrancoFolies, now shortened just to Francos (in my opinion a wrong decision, but well, at the times of texting and Twitter, fewer characters seems to be the way to go), got a ten-year sponsorship from Bell Canada. The announcement, made this past Thursday by representatives from Bell Canada, Spectra and Evenko ensures the long permanence of this festival devoted to the French song. The Francos offers every year a wide selection of Francophone music presented in both, indoor and outdoor, i.e. free, concerts, and featuring artists from this country as well as from Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa. It also serves as a preparation and a warm-up for the popular Jazz Festival scheduled for the end of June and beginning of July.
“Bell is extremely proud to extend support for the festival until 2027 to ensure it continues as of Quebec’s most cherished and unifying event,” said Martine Turcotte, Vice Chair for Quebec for Bell, during the press conference called especially to make this announcement.
Jacques-André Dupont, Les Francos CEO, for his part, said: “We’re thrilled that our partnership with Bell has been renewed for the next ten years.”
According to the press release, “In addition to providing significant annual funding, Bell will expand the festival’s technology capabilities with the development of new apps, online platforms and virtual reality projects.”
The Francos festival will run from June 7 to 17 (an extra day was added to pay homage to Jacques Higelin).