As a Franco-Ontarian singer-songwriter, actor, comedian and now politician, from Sudbury, Stef Paquette loves the stage as much as his audience. As a multi-faceted artist, Stef Paquette will host this year’s event and set the stage for our visiting artists and festivalgoers alike.
Singer - Folk, Soul, R&B
Kelly Bado is a bilingual singer-songwriter who takes you on a journey through her music. With lyrics inspired by love, hope and social equality, and a sound that marries pop with R&B/Soul and her African background, one cannot help but get swept away into Kelly’s magical voice. The Francophone Artist of the Year (2020), as awarded by the Western Canadian Music Awards, Kelly Bado's music transcends cultural barriers, bringing people together in hope and joy. A striking voice and uplifting melodies comes together in a performance that stays with the audience long after the music stops.
Dance - African heritage
Using the art of dance as a way to foster healthy lifestyles and as social outreach among various client groups that are considered vulnerable, throughout Quebec and other provinces across Canada. Since 2010, Prima Danse has had an innovative business model, using dance to tackle various social issues, including those related to physical and mental health. Through its desire to use dance to bring young people of various genders, nationalities, religions, and socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds, Prima Danse makes this medium of self-expression accessible in a whole new way.
Traditional Indigenous Dance
Makhena is an Anishinabe-Cree artist. Born and raised in Ottawa, she's been connecting with her culture through her art.
AFRICAN IDENTITY AND CULTURE CENTRE
The African Identity and Culture Centre, known by its acronym AICC is a non-profit organization, created in September 2018 and based in Toronto, offering services aimed at supporting young people aged 4 to 18, to take awareness of the identity, values and culture of Afro-descendant people in order to build proud, ambitious, inclusive and prosperous communities for a winning Canada. The AICC thus defines itself as a cultural and educational center for youth, that values Canadian cultural diversity and inclusion for the development of all.
Music - traditional folk
Whether at a festival or in a kitchen, the party ignites when Ariko takes the stage. Homegrown in Lafontaine, Ontario, Ariko features the rich vocal harmonies and dynamic fiddle stylings of the Lefaive sisters along with a driving and energetic rhythm section delivered by their parents Laura and Louis. Performance highlights since Ariko’s debut in 2003 include the Main Stage at Mariposa Folk Festival, the Spectacle de la solidarité franco-ontarienne in Ottawa, and the Pan Am Games at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.
RESTO CHEZ CHLOÉ
Chloe was born and raised in Quebec City and fell in love with culinary arts as a child cooking with her mother and grandmother. Their passion for the French cuisine was passed on to her, starting a dream to one day own a restaurant of her own. Twenty years ago she moved to Hamilton Ontario where she started a career in Finance. While being successful in the cooperate world, she decided to give it up to follow her heart. Today she has opened her first French restaurant in the heart of Hess Village which she feels has an “old Quebec” vibe. She is proud to be one of the restaurants taking roots to help revive Hess Village to its best iteration as a beautiful area to stroll, shop and enjoy a good meal.
Trevor is a heterogeneous artist: mime, Latin and ballroom dance competitor. He co-invented a neutral form of dance between partners at the TEDx conference. He moved from streetbuskering to professional mime, creating and turning his solo physical show "Searching for Marceau". He has taught and coached numerous dance companies around the world as well as university theatre departments in Guelph, Waterloo, Niagara, Brock and McMaster. He has received the Burlington Artist of the Year Award, the Ontario Artist Presenter of the Year Award and the Chalmer's Fellowship Award.
Mime artist, dancer
Myriam is a Holistic Nutrition Consultant (RHN) and has been teaching yoga for over 15 years. Her mission is to help others find wholeness through healing and health on all levels: mind, body and spirit! Myriam offers one on one nutritional services, guidance and education, as well as group classes and workshops. She also offers private yoga sessions for individuals, small groups and corporations.
Yoga and meditation
VAUGHN BÉNÉTEAU ET NADINE MARAIS
Vaughn Bénéteau is a self taught artist, connecting to art at a young age, because of a traumatic illness with his legs and feet, he found his voice in art. Painting and drawing is and will always be a need and a source of relief in his life. He has always been able to express himself with paint or with a pencil. His 35 years of experience have led him to experiment with a multitude of different media: Oil, Bic pen, acrylic, charcoal, Posca. The artist makes his art purely from emotion using the mechanics of the human body. He is inspired by a combination of music and the struggle of the human spirit. His work represents people who have a pain somewhere in their body, mind etc. He replaces it with mechanical parts, with the idea of taking the pain away. He puts himself inside that person and directly connects to their experience when he paints. His work is a record of the triumphs of the human spirit over adversity and pain, where the spirit rises above life’s challenges
Painters, visual arts
The Franco-Ontarian sings has been rocking stages from all over the world for over a decade. Over the years, Mélissa Ouimet's career has grown steadily. Winner of a Trille Or for award with her song "Amours jetables", the singer-songwriter continues to make a name for herself in the music industry. In spring 2020, Mélissa returns to us in force with a new extract "In Love Again" which will be found on her third album.
Singer - folk
Fronted by partners Alex Millaire and Kaitlin Milroy, Ottawa-based Moonfruits are makers of art-folk bilingue. In a forest of banjo, guitar, kalimba and glockenspiel, their voices burrow and soar. Here is a reverie, tender and powerful, beckoning listeners to elevate the stuff of everyday life.
Wesli has acquired strong skills and knowledge through these experiences and his debut album, Kouraj (2009), “deals head-on with the struggles of everyday life, including the dire situation in his homeland (extreme poverty, kidnappings, the environment...); but, equally, he stresses the importance of reaching for higher ground [...] The majority of the songs are sung in brilliant Creole and French, with one English cut, “Na wé yo”, that speaks out about the forgotten people of Africa. African instruments (Cora, Balaphone, Calabash, Talking drum), Haitian drums (Manman tambou, Segon, Kata) and stellar guitar and sax solos drive a highly compelling recording.
MARCO LE CLOWN
Marc Proulx, also known as Marco the Clown, is dedicated to creating smiles. Originally from Brandford, Ontario, Marco began to consider working as a clown as a teenager after going blind. Over the past ten years, he has perfected his mastery of juggling, humour, singing, dancing, sleigh rides and has finally found his way into people's hearts. He also practices ventriloquism, with characters such as Grover de Sesame Street and Bruno, a Labrador of his own making. His guide dog, Félix, also participates in the show.
LES RATS D'SWOMPE
Originally from Northern and Eastern Ontario, Les Rats d'Swompe is proud French-speaking Canadian band which has come together to share their passion for the traditional violin and the musicality of the past. Based in Ottawa, the musical trio is composed of Yan Leduc, Martin Rocheleau and Patrick Pharand. Since the release of their brand new album "Vivre en ville" in March 2018, the title song has continued to make its way on Francophone radio stations across the country. Their festive trad-rock atmosphere is created by an alliance of electric guitar, drums, banjo and mandolin. A solid show with an energy that is both wild and engaging!
Diogo Ramos is a singer-songwriter from Sao Paolo, Brazil. Having studied music, especially guitar, since he was a child. He left Brazil in 2010 to settle in Montreal where he obtained the title of Bachelor of Guitar Performance. Discovered on the Montreal music scene, he collaborated with artists such as Paulo Ramos, Bia Krieger, Flavia Nascimento and Rommel Ribeiro. In 2018, he released his album "Samba sans Frontières", where he paid tribute to his adopted country by performing songs by Gilles Vigneault, Félix Leclerc, Pierre Perreault and his Portuguese and French compositions: it's Franco Bossa-Nova!
After the success of their first EP "PERCEPTION", UNI-T returned to the music scene with their second album "A.L.P". Hits like Confidence, #QueDesLikes and Snapchat continue to galvanize crowd during their performances. The new album heralds a promising start with more than 1.2 million views on social networks. The band offers an album full of exotic rhytmics, all in a beautiful symbiosis between Hip Hop, EDM and AfroTrap, which allows them to reach a more diverse audience. Acclaimed by the FrancoFEST audience, they are back on our stage this year!
ALSB is a band that is hard to put a label on. Following the momentum of their critically acclaimed debut album À lʼétage des funambules (2012), ALSB continues to delight and confound with their new album Entre Nous (2016). The fact is, ALSB is not concerned with such limiting concepts as genre – they simply go where their musical curiosity takes them. Like monkeys, they rely on their curiosity and let themselves be led. ALSB makes its mark in Toronto clubs, they attract their audience by playing rereads of great French classics through a kaleidoscope of influences.
AMÉLIE & LES SINGES BLEUS
Dave Gould is a visual and sound artist who borrows and mixes many artistic media. He has performed as a percussionist in various groups in Ottawa (Prince Edward Island) and Hamilton (Canada). For the past 8 years, he has been creating his own instruments from rare and unique objects such as whale bones, caribou antlers and antique toilets. He can be seen performing solo on his handmade instruments or as a singer-songwriter on his guitar... Nominated several times for the Hamilton Music Awards, he received the Hamilton Arts Award in 2013 for his talents as a drummer and percussionist.
Stunt dogs and cats
The unique talent of dogs (and cats) guarantee an amazing show that includes incredible performances such as brisk walking, walking on tightrope, walking on hind legs, skateboarding, scooters, piano, basketball slam dunk and more! Melissa Millett rescues and trains abandoned animals to become superstars in her show. You loved them, they're coming back this year!
Compagnie de danse
A company dedicated to artistic research, creation and presentation of works, BoucharDanse often combines dance and theatre by developing powerful and meaningful interactions between these two forms of art. While maintaining its ties to English-speaking communities, BoucharDanse continues to build important and solid relationships with the Francophone artistic community. Their latest performance, "Les Moutons" will surprise you...
This year, FrancoFEST is celebrating its young talents! The Gabriel-Dumont High School (ON) band, winner of the Coup de Coeur FrancoFEST award at the Monde le son festival, the Toronto West High School band (Viamonde School Board), the talented Sarah Jubinville of SMB Brantford Catholic Elementary School, the young slammers of Dialogue Plus and the Notre-Dame Catholic Elementary School Choir (Mon Avenir School Board) will take to the festival stage alongside our professional artists. Come and cheer on our promising young artists!