Waves of Change: A Story Beyond Language

Waves of Change

What characteristics define that nebulous character – the English-speaking-Quebecer?

Is it determined by history – the number of years/generations that your clan has lived in this territory? Is it about language? Are your Anglo-Québécois credentials strengthened by adding French-language skills, or diminished?  Who decides that you belong in Québec? Do you have to wait to be accepted, or can you make your own decision and stake your claim anytime you’re ready?

ELAN’s Waves of Change project takes a deep dive into the thorny question of identity and belonging in Quebec.

We interviewed more than 50 people, grouped by waves of immigration.

The oldest wave goes back to the days of the Napoleonic Wars. Their families arrived when Montreal was 50% English-speaking and they have lived through FLQ bombings, Bill 101, two referendums, an exodus of 300,000 Quebecers and a drastically renegotiated social contract.

The most recent wave, arrived since 2010, is still trying to make sense of Quebec’s history and the unwritten codes that define who belongs and who remains the ‘other.’

Project team: 

Project Manager: Guy Rex Rodgers

A graduate of the playwriting program at the National Theatre School of Canada, Guy Rex Rodgers has worked in film and television, and specialized in writing large-scale multimedia productions for museums and special events across Canada, as well as the US, Europe and the Middle East.  He has also worked in television, interviewing artists for the Montreal International Jazz Festival and writing TV specials. He recently wrote a pictorial history book for Montreal’s Welcome Hall Mission to commemorate their 125th anniversary.  He is also a musician and has recently performed in several editions of Tim Brady’s symphonies for 100 guitarists. In 2015 he was appointed to l’Ordre des arts et des lettres du Québec.

A long-time arts activist, Guy Rex Rodgers was co-founder of the Quebec Drama Federation (QDF) and the Quebec Writers’ Federation (QWF), was a member of the founding board of le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (CALQ), and was Executive Director of the English-Language Arts Network from its inception in 2004 until 2021.

Project Coordinator: Betty Esperanza
See full bio here

Videographer: Youssef Shoufan
See full bio here

Funded by the Secretariat for relations with English-speaking Quebecers