Celebrating culture through song

French singing group has 425 songs in its repertoire and is accepting new members

Caricatures of the member’s of the local French singing group Nous Chantons. The group is welcoming new members.

LISSA ALEXANDER

reporter@pqbnews.com

Suzanne Bernard was singing French songs to her grandchild nearly six years ago when she realized there was a need in the community for a singing group.

“I was stopping in the middle of the songs saying, ‘Oh, I forgot the words!” said the Parksville resident who moved to the area from Montreal 28 years ago.

Bernard started the group Nous Chantons to enjoy the songs but also to remember and celebrate French Canadian culture and history, and today a core group of 12 people do just that.

Bernard taught French Immersion classes at the elementary school level in the area before retiring, and said music was a big part of the children’s learning.

“That’s the way we learned the language with a lot of songs and nursery rhymes,” she said.

Nous Chantons has a repertoire of 425 songs, including music from Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, France, Martinique, Spain, Louisiana and more.

The group has members spanning the Canadian provinces and Bernard said she has discovered that one of the members is related to her from nine generations ago.

“We found a line in common from a brother or sister,” she said.

Nous Chantons starts up again for the season Sept. 10 and gets together for two hours every Wednesday from 1:30-3:30 p.m. New members are welcomed.

The only stipulations to becoming a member is having a passion for singing and the ability to understand (not necessarily speak) French.

Last year the group started singing at senior’s homes in the area and in Nanaimo, and have sung twice at the Maple Sugar Festival in that city.

Bernard said the group takes turns hosting their Wednesday sessions at each other’s homes and thoroughly enjoy their experiences.

“We are very happy to sing together,” she said. “It’s a nice time to share our life and our French culture at break time.”

Call Bernard for more information at 250-248-8714.

 

Just Posted

Parksville Beach Festival Society launches campaign for outdoor stage

Public invited to event May 25 to help with kickoff

Crime Report: Oceanside RCMP receive 328 complaints in one-week span

Vandalism and theft of a wheelchair among listed incidents

Controversial cell tower proposal in Coombs clears another hurdle

Committee indicates Rogers satisfactorily completed requirements

Parksville advocate to discuss harm-reduction measures for addicts

Morris, along with a panel of professionals, will be at the PCC on May 21

QUIZ: Test your knowledge of Victoria Day

How much do you know about the monarch whose day we celebrate each May?

Top women’s hockey player Natalie Spooner coming to B.C.

Natalie Spooner special guest at annual Grindstone charity weekend in Kelowna

Take-home drug testing kits latest pilot to help curb B.C.’s overdose crisis

Researchers look to see if fentanyl testing could be a useful tool for those who use drugs alone

B.C. ferry stops to let black bear swim past near Nanaimo

Queen of Oak Bay brakes for wildlife in Nanaimo’s Departure Bay

RCMP arrest violent offender on Vancouver Island

Campbell River police struggle with suspect and take him down with a taser

Facebook takes down anti-vaxxer page that used image of late Canadian girl

Facebook said that the social media company has disabled the anti-vaccination page

Search crews rescue kids, 6 and 7, stranded overnight on Coquitlam mountain

Father and two youngsters fall down a steep, treacherous cliff while hiking Burke Mountain

Raptors beat Bucks 118-112 in 2OT thriller

Leonard has 36 points as Toronto cuts Milwaukee’s series lead to 2-1

Two cats die in house fire in Nanaimo

Fire happened just after 2 p.m. Sunday on Fifth Street, one resident displaced

Most Read