Honestly, there's been a big gap between the two sides of the river in terms of music. There's always amazing music coming from both sides, but we have a hard time drawing an English audience to hear French music and vice versa.
—Daniel Péloquin-Hopfner, member of Fire & Smoke
French and English music come together on a new website.
La Liberté, the French-language newspaper from St. Boniface, is launching this new initiative exclusively on its website. It's called La Liberté MIC, la Musicale Inter Communautaire. The idea is to build bridges between the French and English communities through music.
The program was launched at an event at St. Boniface University on January 12th with three bands who will be featured on the show, Oh My Darling, KIN and Fire & Smoke.
Once a month, a local artist or group - francophone or francophile - is featured. They perform two original songs plus one exclusive cover. And they share their secrets of success in an "intimate interview".
Oh My Darling is the inaugural band. Band member Vanessa Kuzina says "It's an amazing opportunity for the musical community here in Manitoba." In their intimate interview, they reveal the "secret song" they sing in their tour van.
KIN will be featured in February. And Fire & Smoke make an appearance in March. Daniel Péloquin-Hopfner is one half of that duo. "It's been a long time coming," he says. "Honestly, there's been a big gap between the two sides of the river in terms of music. There's always amazing music coming from both sides, but we have a hard time drawing an English audience to hear French music and vice versa. So I feel like this is a really nice initiative that will not just improve the web presence of this bridge, but also hopefully and subsequently the live audience as well."
La Liberté is Manitoba's oldest French-language newspaper. Recently it started publishing an article in Saturday's Free Press, in anticipation of its 100th anniversary in 2013.