Saint-Jean celebrations in Montréal were kind of damp this year. Even though I live at walking distance from Parc Maisonneuve, I skipped the big event. Despite the weather, The Gazette reports that attendance at the parade and the show was still respectable, 50,000 instead of the usual 200,000.
I opted for the drier floor of a movie theater and saw the film Gerry, the very touching tale of Québécois rocker Gerry Boulet. My wife and I were flabbergasted my Mario St-Amant's [Google translation] performance (he personifies the singer). My thirteen years old son loved it... which tells me this movie will appeal to the mainstream.
Back at home, I watched the end of the Parc Maisonneuve concert on Radio-Canada. Veteran Robert Charlebois was his usual self. Rufus and Martha Wainwright did a medley of their mother's former duo. I can only assume many saw them as the token Anglos of the evening. Still, they were welcome.
I've written about June 24 before, explaining the difference between Saint-Jean and Fête nationale and how patron saints aren't equal in the Canadian psyche. Despite the fact that Saint-Jean-Baptiste is the patron saint of all French Canadians, like Saint-Patrick for the Irish, national media tend to oversee the holiday.
This morning, I wondered about celebrations outside Québec. I found some festivities were carried out in Squamish, British Columbia and in the Battlefords, Saskatchewan. I hope they had nicer weather than we did.